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.

In February, War Resisters’ International, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) and International Fellowship for Reconciliation (IFOR) started a new webinar series on campaigning for conscientious to military service. The webinars included presentations from activists and experts from different countries. They also included some case studies and testimonies from CO's around the world. The presentations (in English, Spanish and some in Turkish) are now available on the Refuse to Kill Youtube Channel.   

War Resisters' International, together with Connection e.V. and Union Pacifiste de France, released a new publication, Conscientious Objection in Turkey. The booklet, published in English, Turkish, French and German, includes articles on the situation of conscientious objectors in Turkey, the history of the conscientious objection movement in the country, as well as the experiences of COs from Turkey who sought asylum in other countries. 

Conscientious objectors to military service continue to be imprisoned in many countries today. WRI regularly updates its list of imprisoned conscientious objectors and organise solidarity for them. In this story, you will see conscientious objectors who are known to be behind bars or serving in labour camps by June 2021.

On Monday (12th July), Ukrainian Pacifist Movement organised a protest near Turkish embassy in Kyiv in support of conscientious objectors in Turkey. In their statement, they said “Turkey does not recognize human right to conscientious objection, enforce conscription with outrageous cruelty and severely punish objectors, imposing fines and imprisonment for so-called desertion, excluding pacifists from social life to a degree of "civil death," closing their bank accounts, depriving them of access to public services.” 

The Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey) has released a new report on the rights violations of conscientious objectors (COs) in Turkey. The report, released this Monday, includes in-depth interviews with COs, explains ongoing cases of COs, and includes recommendations to the Turkish government and to the international mechanisms regarding the issue.

Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey) released the English edition of their latest bulletin, covering updates on conscientious objection to military service in Turkey from March and April 2021. 

The bulletin includes information on the rights violations of conscientious objectors in Turkey as well as the legal cases followed by the association.

Our webinar series, Campaigning for Conscientious Objection to Military Service, continues with a new event on 16th June (4pm London, 5pm Geneva).

This time, we will have a particular focus on conscientious objection and asylum. On our webinar:

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