CO Update: Editorial

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In the past two months, Norway has extended compulsory military service to women, Greece has continued in its download slope towards greater persecution of COs, and Israeli CO Natan Blanc has finally been released from the cycle of imprisonment, release and call up that he had been subject to for many months. Whilst Natan was still imprisoned, the Israeli group New Profile, along with the Egyptian group No to Compulsory Military Service, issued a joint statement calling for his freedom, along with that of Emad El Dafrawi and Mohammed Fathy.

Elsewhere Turkish COs have formed a new association, and it's likely that Armenian law will be amended to the joy of Armenian COs, who are mainly Jehovah's Witnesses.

International human rights systems are one way of trying to protect COs at risk, and with this in mind, you will read about a new guide for CO that WRI has produced. On a similar theme, the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea has been clear in her statement that conscription is causing people the flee. The Human Rights Committee have also been in receipt of a report on the status of conscientious objection around the world. Read it here: http://wri-irg.org/node/22018

Those interested in the militarisation of youth should also be encouraged by the activities of this project, which has been very active in recent months, both networking groups that are already working on this issue, and providing support and resources so that this issue might get more attention.

As well as reading this CO Update, you can also watch talks on various aspects of conscientious objection here.

Finally, you may be interested in reading the latest edition of The Broken Rifle, called 'Conscientious Objection: Today and Tomorrow', which provides updates as to the situation for conscientious objectors in certain states, gives examples of useful instances to learn from in past campaigns, and supplies some suggestions in response to the question 'what next' for conscientious objection.

Hannah Brock

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