We wish you all a Happy New Year, and we hope that in 2010 we have on balance more good news to report than bad news about arrest and maltreatment of conscientious objectors.
However, our first issue of 2010 is not a good start, as we don't have any good news: The upcoming trial of a female total objector in Finland, the arrest of a conscientious objector in Turkey, and human rights violations in Russia.
On 6 December 2009, Finnish Independence Day (a very militarist event in the country), a woman conscientious objector declared her total objection in Finland. She declared: "I don't want to support a machinery of violence by any means, because it is not creating a happy and just future for us. Militaristic activities only sow and feed hatred and bitterness. We should use all our resources for building and maintaining a sustainable future."
On 24 December 2009, Turkish police arrested conscientious objector Enver Aydemir during a routine check at the ferry port in Kabataş, Istanbul. An arrest warrant for insubordination and possibly desertion, going back to his earlier arrest and detention in 2007, was discovered, and Enver Aydemir was transferred to Doğancılar police station and then to a military police station. He has now been transferred to Eskisehir Military Prison, where he is awaiting his trial.
A representative of the organisation Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg told RFE/RL that they have received a large number of phone calls from people complaining that local military recruitment offices "are literally hunting for young men on the streets, in supermarkets, and the subway to forcibly enlist them into the army", RFL/RL reported on 22 December 2009.