Right to Refuse to Kill

War Resisters' International's programme The Right to Refuse to Kill combines a wide range of activities to support conscientious objectors individually, as well as organised groups and movements for conscientious objection.

Our main publications are CO-Alerts (advocacy alerts sent out whenever a conscientious objector is prosecuted) and CO-Updates (a bimonthly look at developments in conscientious objection around the world).

We maintain the CO Guide - A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System, which can help COs to challenge their own governments, and protect themselves from human rights abuses.

Information about how nation states treat conscientious objectors can be found in our World Survey of Conscientious Objection and recruitment.

More info on the programme is available here.

Cuba

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Updated October 2017; researcher Jimmy Roque Martínez. Translation: Catherine Gregory.


1 Conscription

conscription exists

Conscription or military service in Cuba is supported in the constitution by article 65, which establishes that:

In advance of International Human Rights Day on 10th December, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection has published “Conscientious Objection to Military Service in Europe 2017”. “In 2017, efforts to recognize the rights of conscientious objectors to military service have taken once more a negative track in Europe”, EBCO President Friedhelm Schneider said.

In October, the European Court of Human Rights in a ruling on the case of in the case of Adyan and others v. Armenia, criticised the state's alternative service system (which was in place until 2013), arguing that it was not genuinely civilian, and amounted to military service - albeit an unarmed one. The court ordered the State to pay the applicants compensation.

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) held its 2017 General Assembly on 4th November in the UN buffer zone in Cyprus. The Assembly followed a press conference and a public forum held with the participation of conscientious objectors and peace activists from across Europe, as well as from the Republic of Cyprus and the northern part of the island.   

Today is Prisoners for Peace Day, when War Resisters' International and our members remember those imprisoned for their work for peace, and write to them in jail. Please join us!

Astoundingly, two decades after his imprisonment, Osman Murat Ülke was summoned to the police station again this week by the prosecutor in Bilecik, who has reopened his case, and ordered him to make a statement at the local police station.

We're coming up to Prisoners for Peace day, held on 1st December. For over sixty years on this day we've been sharing stories and contacts details of those imprisoned for their work for peace, including conscientious objectors.

Conscientious objectors Noa Gur Golan and Hadas Tal from Israel were imprisoned again for their refusal to be conscripted. Noa Gur Golan , 19, has already served 87 days in military prison, and was recently sentenced to another 30 days. Hadas Tal, 18, who's spent 50 days behind bars, was sentenced to 10 more days for her refusal to serve in the IDF.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recently issued a report on the human rights situation in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

The report covers the human rights developments in the region from 22 February 2014 to 12 September 2017. As well as various other issues, the report includes rights violations in relation to ongoing military conscription by the Russian armed forces in the region.

The newly elected Bermudian Government is planning to end military conscription, a government official revealed at a speech last month.

Speaking on behalf of the new Progressive Labour Party government, Governor John Rankin said: “The Government will amend the Defence Act 1965 in consultation with the Governor to officially end conscription to the Royal Bermuda Regiment within this legislative session.”

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