This issue of CO-Update comes slightly late. This is mostly due to the work on our new book "Women Conscientious Objectors - An Anthology" (see below), which went to press yesterday, and which we will launch on 23 April 2010 with an event at Housmans Bookshop (see below). That's the good news, I guess.
Turkey has recently increased the pressure on conscientious objectors. As reported in a co-alert on 1 April, conscientious objector Enver Aydemir has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment on 30 March, on charges of desertion.
On 1 April the Spanish Guardia Civil arrested total objector Óscar Cervera García, an old total objector of the Spanish Movement for Conscientious Objection (MOC). Óscar Cervera García was one of the last five imprisoned total objectors during the campaign "insumision in the barracks" in the late 1990. He was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment, and was included in WRI's Prisoners for Peace Honour Roll 2001.
As reported earlier in CO-Update, Germany seems to be going ahead with the shortening of military and substitute service from nine months to six months. Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Family Minister Kristina Schröder presented a draft law to the Defence Committee of the German parliament in March. According to the proposal, all conscripts will be able to benefit of the shorter term from 1 October 2010, while for conscientious objectors the shorter term will come into force from 1 August 2010.
On 23 March 2010, the National Assembly of Serbia passed a new Amnesty Law, which will allow many Serbian expatriates to return to Serbia without fear of being arrested. According to the law, all citizens who have avoided military duty or service, or willfully left the Serbian Army from 18 April 2006 until the new law comes into force, will be granted amnesty.