Conscientious Objector Diego Fernando Blanco López from Colombia has been illegally recruited by the Colombian army, despite his right to postpone due to being a student. He is currently being forced to serve in the Grupo de Caballeria Mecanicado No 4 Juan de Corral of the Colombian Army in Rionegro, Antioquia.
Since his declaration of conscientious objection on 20th March 2017, Diego Blanco has been subjected to aggression and harassment by his superiors.
Atalia Ben-Abba is an imprisoned Israeli conscientious objector
After 115 days of imprisonment, Israeli conscientious objector Tamar Ze'evi has had her objection to military service recognised, and has been granted CO status as a political refuser. However, conscientious objectors Atalia Ben-Abba and Tamar Alon have been imprisoned again for their refusal to take part in the occupation and serve in the IDF. This is Atalia's second, and Tamar's sixth imprisonment, and each will spend 30 days more behind bars. Click here send a protest email to the Israeli authorities.
Along with our email alert, you can also send your solidarity messages to Atalia and Tamar. Use this link to write them and your messages will be passed on.
Activists - including members of WRI - celebrate being found not guilty after actions against DSEI in 2015
WRI's Council meets once a year, to discuss the future work of the network. This year, our meeting will be in London in September, hosted by our affiliates Peace Pledge Union, Fellowship of Reconciliation (UK), Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and Trident Ploughshares, and coincide with the mobilisations against the DSEI arms fair.
Activists in Madrid have taken action against Spain's biggest arms fair, with large demonstrations accompanied by nonviolent direct action, which saw activists covering themselves in red paint and unfurling banners at the entrance to the HOMESEC arms fair, in Madrid.
This month, War Resisters' International joined a group of international organisations to observe the hearing of Serdar Küni, a doctor and veteran human rights defender in Şırnak, Turkey. Dr. Kuni was arrested last October, accused of “providing treatment to alleged militants” and not informing security services about it. In the trial, which was attended by 70 people, including six observers from Germany, UK, Sweden, Norway and US, Dr.
The European Bureau of Conscientious Objection held its spring General Assembly last week at the Peace House in Brussels. The meeting was attended by WRI and COs and activists from Belgium, Catalonia, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Turkey, and the UK. The EBCO Board repeated its call to the Greek Government to keep its promises to address shortcomings in its legislation and procedures regarding conscientious objection to military service.
In November 2016, an EBCO delegation, headed by Vice-President Sam Biesemans, met the Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Dimitrios Vitsas in Athens. As reported by EBCO delegation, the Deputy Minister recognised the existing problems and expressed the intention to present to the parliament a draft law specifically on conscientious objection. In its press release, EBCO Board stated that they will “carefully monitor the process”. They are also offering their assistance to the Greek authorities in bringing their conscientious objection provisions into line with European and international human rights standards.