Following the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Bayatyan v. Armenia in July 2011, and even more so the judgment in the case of Erçep v. Turkey from November 2011, some human rights and conscientious objection activists in Turkey pushed again for the recognition of the right to conscientious objection.
Following the Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Bayatyan v Armenia from July 2011, in which the European Court of Human Rights for the first time recognised the right to conscientious objection as a right recognised under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (see CO-Update No 67, August 2011), several chambers of the European Court have no consolidated this new jurisprudence of the Court.
On 2 February 2012, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, demanded that the right to conscientious objection to military service should be guaranteed in all parts of Europe. In his blog post, he stated:
"People should not be imprisoned when their religious or other convictions prevent them from doing military service. Instead they should be offered a genuinely civilian alternative. This is now the established European standard, respected in most countries – but there are some unfortunate exceptions."
The Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's "European Commission for Democracy through Law" was asked by the Armenian government to comment on its draft law to amend the Alternative Service Law of the country.
The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.
War Resisters International are looking for individuals and organisations to collaborate on and contribute to its 2012 conference 'Countering the Militarisation of Youth'. One of the aims of the project is to create a snap shot of the ways in which youth are being increasingly militarised, to that end we would welcome hearing from you about developments in your area.
War Resisters' International is looking for a Right to Refuse to Kill programme worker (full-time)
The RRTK worker will share the responsibility for organising work from WRI's international office and have specific responsibility for running WRI's international work on conscientious objection and military recruitment. A commitment to pacifism, good computer skills, and language skills are essential.
Salary: £24,136.26 per annum. Deadline for applications: 31 May 2012 start date: 1 September 2012
In the previous month(s), the WRI office issued the following co-alerts:
(a full archive of co-alerts is available at wri-irg.org/news/alerts)
29 Feb 2012: TURKEY: Conscientious objector Halil Savda imprisoned for "alienating the people from the military"
23 Jan 2012: EGYPT: Pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad still in prison, although he received an official pardon