War Resisters' Stories

Issue number
61

In January, there were significant developments for conscientious objectors in Northern Cyprus: Conscientious objector Halil Karapasaoglu, who has repeatedly declared his refusal to perform reserve service, was put on trial and sentenced to a fine - which Halil refused to pay and was imprisoned. Meanwhile, Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus mobilised hundreds of people to support Halil - both on the streets and on social media. Halil was released following his appeal. In parallel to the public discussions on Halil's case, the government of the North Cyprus announced a draft law recognising the right to conscientious objection.

We have continued to update WRI's "Resisting Police Militarisation" resource. This mapping tool helps us to illustrate the ways that police forces around the world are using increasingly militarised equipment, tactics, and strategies, often against unarmed civilians and protesters. Recent examples include the crackdown on opposition groups in Zimbabwe, and the use of "less-lethal" weapons against the Gilet Jaunes protesters in France.

In December, War Resisters' International has submitted a report to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The submission was in response to the OHCHR's request for information on different approaches and challenges with regard to application procedures for conscientious objection to military service.