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.

To the press and the public;

While the society is being tried to be made more hostile within each other day by day with the militarist and nationalist speeches that have increased after the termination of the solution process, the militarist pressure on the society is now changing shape. In these days when the militarist language is becoming dominant, the pressure on the society doesn’t remain as just words. In this context; the provisions of the law which have been in force for years but have never been applied in practice, have started to being put into practice.

Tamar Alon, Atalya Ben Abba and Tamar Ze'evi are facing imprisonment for refusing to serve the Israeli occupation. Support them by joining us on December 1st for an international day of action.

Vigils will take place outside arms manufacturing facilities and other locations calling on governments to stop arming the Israeli occupation rather than profiting from it.

As long as Europe trades with the Israeli weapon industry - the occupation will continue. As long as the US continue to arm Israel and buy its weapons - young Israelis will continue to be imprisoned for refusing to aim these weapons toward civilians.

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THEY REFUSE to gas civilians, will the US refuse to buy Israeli teargas?
THEY REFUSE to shoot civilians, will EAST ASIA refuse to buy Israel guns?
THEY REFUSE to bomb Gaza, will we call OUR COUNTRIES to refuse to trade drones with Israel?

THEY REFUSE to serve the occupation, WE refuse to profit from it.
***

We share the conscientious objection declaration by Hilal Demir, first published in Women and Conscientious Objection - An Anthology

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I don't want to live in a world that is sexist, hierarchic, authoritarian, militarist and patriarchal.

I do not want them to give me their system-based school education…

I do not want people to die in wars because they are deceived.

I do not want to have to prove that I am a fully intelligent being and individual, just because I am a woman.

I do not want to brush aside the state's war policies and their lies.

I do not want militaries that train dummies to die in wars…

I do not want people to decide for me about anything without asking me…

I do not want to see militarist concepts and behaviours within our movements…

I do not want to live under patriarchic rules and behaviors that invade my private life.

I do not want antbody to judge people's sexual identities.

I do not want to be ruled by labels such as "mother", "wife", "daughter", "girlfriend" just because I am a woman…

I do not want to live fenced in by borders…

I do not want to kill and be killed…

And.. I am rejecting all of these by listening to my conscience…

Because I WANT to live free and happy, in a world where there is no war, or any kind of violence, anti-authoritarian, without borders.

And you?

Hilal Demir, 2005 Izmir

19 years old high school student Risto Miinalainen started to serve his 173 days prison sentence today 4 Oct. A group of 20 people, composed of his friends and activists of Finnish Union of Conscientious Objetors, walked with him from his school to the gates of Helsinki prison through the centre of the city today.

Risto was charged on "refusal from civilian service" (siviilipalveluksesta kieltäytyminen). He was sentenced by Eastern Uusimaa district court (Itä-Uudenmaan käräjäoikeus) on 20 April 2016. Helsinki sppeal court (Helsingin hovioikeus) refused to give him a permission to appeal on 6 July. Majority of Finnish total objectors are sentenced to home detention instead of prison, but Risto chose the prison sentence after reading about the negative experiences of some total objectors who has been sentenced to home detention.

No to Compulsory Military Service Movement supports the Conscientious Objector Kamal El-ghety in his request to be excepted from the compulsory Military Education subject. The universities organization law requires every Egyptian male student to attend a subject on Military Education in order to get his graduation certificate.

Kamal has submitted a written request addressed to Cairo University dean Mr. Gaber Gad Nassar asking him to exclude the former from attending the Military Education subject. The subject contradicts with his pacifist beliefs, and his discomfort with being used as a tool in armed conflicts. The subject promotes for values such as blind disobedience making it a crime to reject any order as well as it discriminates between Egyptians on terms of their gender, according to El-ghety. Forcing El-ghety to attend the subject is a blatant violation of the international law, and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights in particular that bans any “coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.” Cairo University has rejected El-ghety’s request.

Video featuring Accion colectiva de objetores y objetoras de conscienca (Collective Action of Conscientious Objectors), by FOR Peace Presence

On 14th July, conscientious objectors Tair Kaminer and Ruslan Kotsaba – in Ukraine and Israel respectively - were released. Journalist and draft refuser Ruslan Kotsaba was freed on appeal, after initially being charged with treason. The judge found that there was no evidence to condemn him, and ordered his immediate release from custody. In Israel, refuser Tair Kaminer was exempted from the army for 'bad behaviour'. She had spent over 150 days in prison for her refusal. CO Omri Baranes is still going through the process of being repeatedly called up, imprisoned, released and called up. Sign up to support her, and other COs, here. Refusing to kill is not a crime.

Read more...

UPDATE: on 14 July Ruslan was released on appeal, the judge finding that there was insufficient evidence to support the charge of treason. Read the news here.

Ukrainian court of appeal acquits journalist sentenced for high treason

Read more on UNIAN: http://www.unian.info/politics/1417986-ukrainian-court-of-appeal-acquit… Ukrainian court of appeal acquits journalist sentenced for high treason

Read more on UNIAN: http://www.unian.info/politics/1417986-ukrainian-court-of-appeal-acquit… PDF

Conscientious objector and journalist sentenced to 3½ years in jail

In Israel, Omri Barnes and Tair Kaminer have been imprisoned again because they #refuse2occupy and refuse to serve the army. Tair, starting her 6th term of 45 days in prison said "As long as the violent military way holds sway, we will simply have further generations growing up with a heritage of hate, which will only make things even worse. We must stop this - now!". Omri, returning now to prison for the third time for a term of 30 days says "The military creates a circle of violence while claiming to defend the country. I believe that a person has a responsibility towards certain humanistic values, which lie beyond his/hers political and social framework, which is why I refuse to enlist."

Their support group Mersavot is calling people around the world to support them, by posting your own picture a with a message to Tair and Omri and use the hashtag #refuse2occupy.

I spent the weekend in the good company of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), a European umbrella organisation campaigning for the rights of conscientious objectors. In their 30+ year history, EBCO have never before met in Britain. They chose to on this occasionat the invitation of the First World War Peace Forum, a group of British peace groups working to give an alternative, antimiltiarist view of the centenary memorials to the first World War, which in Britain have been an excuse for nationalism and militarism.

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