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.

History repeats itself, the same way I objected to compulsory military service last year, this year I boycott litigation before the military officers.

Mr Officers… I say Mr Officers and not Mr Judge, because the judge before anything has to have the characteristic of independence, whereas military officers are a branch of the executive authority. That’s why you are an officer, not a judge, no matter what names, titles or descriptions you were called.

International Conference Germany 2012

Darmstadt, 8-10 June 2012

War Resisters International are looking for individuals and organisations to collaborate on and contribute to its 2012 conference 'Countering the Militarisation of Youth'. One of the aims of the project is to create a snap shot of the ways in which youth are being increasingly militarised, to that end we would welcome hearing from you about developments in your area.

Maikel Nabil Sanad – still on hunger strike – again limited thirst strike

The support group of Maikel Nabil Sanad informed that the military has now set the date for the appeal of Egyptian conscientious objector and critic of the military for 1 November 2011. However, War Resisters' International, Connection e.V., and DFG-VK Hesse still demand the immediate and unconditional release, because the sentence is a grave violation of human rights.

For the second time, South Korea's Constitutional Court ruled on 30 August that the right to conscientious objection is not protected under the South Korean constitution. Almost exactly seven years after its first decision on the subject on 26 August 2004 (see CO-Update No 1, September 2004), the court ruled again with a majority of 7-2 that the country's military service act is constitutional.

War Resisters' International calls for release of unjustly imprisoned blogger

On Tuesday, 23 August 2011, imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad began a hunger strike in protest against his continued imprisonment, and delays in dealing with his appeal. Today, one week later, he escalated his hunger strike and now also refuses to drink. In his declaration of hunger strike from 23 August 2011, he wrote that he had decided: "to go on a hunger strike, starting from today. Should there be no response, I will escalate my hunger strike to include water and medicines. It will continue until death or until I am set free." [1]

War Resisters' International calls for release of unjustly imprisoned blogger

War Resisters' International, the international pacifist network with more than 80 affiliated organisations in more than 40 countries, calls on the Egyptian authorities to release imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad. Maikel Nabil Sanad was arrested at the end of March 2011, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment on charges of violation of article 184 of the Egyptian penal code, which criminalizes "insulting the People’s Assembly, the Shura Council or any State Authority, or the Army or the Courts", and article 102, "spreading false information". His trial in front of a military court and sentencing did not meet international legal standards [1].

(Application no. 23459/03)


7 July 2011
This judgment is final but may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Bayatyan v. Armenia,
The European Court of Human Rights, sitting as a Grand Chamber composed of:
Jean-Paul Costa, President, 
 Christos Rozakis, 
 Nicolas Bratza, 
 Peer Lorenzen, 
 Françoise Tulkens, 
 Nina Vajić, 
 Lech Garlicki, 
 Alvina Gyulumyan, 
 Dean Spielmann, 
 Renate Jaeger, 
 Sverre Erik Jebens, 
 Päivi Hirvelä, 
 Mirjana Lazarova Trajkovska, 
 Ledi Bianku, 
 Mihai Poalelungi, 
 Nebojša Vučinić, 

Maikel Nabil is jailed in the Magr prison, in a small cell. The cell is called a reformatory, and is know as "the trial," where he stays for days without seeing sunlight. He is also not allowed to get out of
the cell for any exercise. The guard interacts with Maikel only once in 24 hours, when he opens the cell at 12pm to hand Maikel his one daily meal. Then he locks 6 metal doors on the way out.

Maikel is then left in that cell with three extremely dangerous criminals. He has been threatened explicitly by one of his cellmates that "one of these days, I will cut your face with a razor."

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