Italy

Leonardo is an Italian arms company specialising in a wide range of defence and aerospace equipment. The company is part-owned by the Italian state which owns 30% of shares in the company, and dominates the Italian arms industry. Leonardo is the world’s 9th biggest arms company, with $8.9bn worth of arms sales in 2017, making up 68% of their income.

Unjust laws and human rights violations force many people to flee their countries and risk drowning to reach Europe via passing through the Mediterranean Sea. Saving the lives of those who are facing death is the first human duty. But now, the Italian law prevents NGOs from search and rescue activities of those people drowning in sea. Because of this context, a number of individuals from Italy launched an appeal for conscientious objection to disobey the relevant law and for saving human lives.

Funeral oration read by Mao Valpiana

(leader of Movimento nonviolento)

Florence, 16th April 2016

Today Pietro's death has called us together, pulled us together. He has done it many times, in 1962 with the foundation of Movimento nonviolento, in 1963 and 1964 with the creation of Azione nonviolenta group and magazine, from 1968 to 1975 with antimilitaristic marches, in 1978 with the second Perugia-Assisi1 March, in 1983 with Catania-Comiso2 march and again in 2000 with a specific nonviolent march in order to put together all the people that believe in Nonviolence as a political alternative. All of us have been really impressed by meeting him In some way getting to know him has changed all of us.

Conscientious objector groups from the eastern Mediterranean region have recently issued a statement on the ongoing military crisis in their region. Declaring their solidarity with refugees escaping from war and repression, they made a call to the international community to pursue peaceful solutions, rather than militarised ones, for the ongoing violence in the region. “The world's reaction to the current regional violence,” the statement declares, “should be building societies, assisting refugees, and mediating between fighting parties, not selling arms, bombings and providing military assistance.”

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