Prisoners for Peace

1st December is Prisoners for Peace Day. For over 60 years, War Resisters' International have, on this day, made known the names and stories of those imprisoned because of their actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

This day is a chance for you to demonstrate your support for those individuals and their movements, by writing to those whose freedom has been taken away from them because of their work for peace.

WRI has a permanent Prisoners for Peace list, which we make a special effort to update for Prisoners for Peace Day on December 1st.

Conscientious objector Visa Savolainen was one of those detained COs who received letters of solidarity in December 2015 on Prisoners for Peace Day. Visa wrote a reflection on his blog on the joy of receiving these.

International Prisoners for Peace Day has been celebrated on December 1st for years. The purpose of the day is to provoke conversation and commemorate peace prisoners with different expressions of support and solidarity.

International Prisoners for Peace Day has been celebrated on December 1st for years. The purpose of the day is to provoke conversation and commemorate peace prisoners with different expressions of support and solidarity.

This year we commemorated especially conscientious objectors in South Korea. In South Korea t no alternatives to military service exist, nor a right to conscientious objection. Therefore about 700 peace prisoners are serving time - just for their views. The sentence for objection in South Korea is very long; 18 months in prison.

Editorial

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Approaching prisoners for peace day, reading about the state of conscientiousness objection and conscription in different places in the world, it's sad to see that more than 60 years after the founding of the “Prisoners For Peace Day”, it is still so relevant.

In the past few months there have been small advancements, such as Ukraine’s high court and South Korea's lower courts recognizing the right to CO, Yiannis Glarnetatzis, a Jehovah Witness from Greece found innocent (though only for procedural reasons) and gay people in Turkey being able to be released from army service without going through humiliating check-ups.

In a joint action War Resisters’ International, Connection e.V. (Germany), Amnesty International Korea and World Without War (South Korea) today presented more than 8,000 signatures from 108 countries, including members of parliaments from Germany, European Union and South Korea, to the ministry of defense in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The organizations demand the recognition of conscientious objection and the immediate and unconditional release of conscientious objectors in prison (...more). The signatures were presented by an international delegation on the International Day of Prisoners for Peace, December 1, with participation from War Resisters‘ International and Connection e.V.

Postcards sent from WRI affiliate World Without WarEach year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its members mark Prisoners for Peace Day, when we publicise the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

Write to peace activists in prison - find the details you need here.

Each year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its members mark Prisoners for Peace Day, when we publicise the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war. This day is a chance for you to demonstrate your support for them.

WRI has a permanent Prisoners for Peace list, and we make a special effort to update for Prisoners for Peace Day on December 1st.

In Finland, conscription is among the most glorified institutions of the state among the people. For most of last decade polls have shown about 70 % support for keeping conscription, and none of the major political parties want to abolish it. In the beginning of 2015 the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces made a decision to cut the reserve by about a third, to 230,000 people, opening for the first time the chance to look for alternatives to mandatory conscription. The state faces broad international criticism for not respecting the rights of conscientious objectors.

Each year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its members mark Prisoners for Peace Day, when we make known the names and stories of those imprisoned for taking action for peace. This day is a chance to demonstrate your support for them.

There are some changes in this list from previous years. In October, all but one Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors in Turkmenistan were freed from Seydi Labour Camp. This is great news for those people. However, it does not mean that COs who are not Jehovah's Witnesses will not be imprisoned in future, and conscription itself is still in full flow.

Each year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its member mark Prisoners for Peace Day, when we publicise the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war. This day is a chance for you to demonstrate your support for them.


1st December is Prisoners for Peace Day. For over 60 years, War Resisters' International have, on this day, made known the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

Since the 1950s, 1 December is celebrated as Prisoners for Peace Day, to highlight the plight of those who face imprisonment for the nonviolent actions for peace - be they conscientious objectors or direct action activists.

While WRI has a permanent Prisoners for Peace list on its website, we make a special effort to update it for Prisoners for Peace Day, and call on everyone to write cards or letters to prisoners.

We ask you to:

Dear friend and supporter of War Resisters' International,

The traditional work of War Resisters’ International on supporting imprisoned conscientious objectors and other prisoners for peace may perhaps appear routine and grey, but it is as indispensable as it is challenging. As one who once was on WRI’s Prisoner for Peace list, I can testify to the importance of the scores of support messages I received from people all over the world, and which lifted my spirit when I was behind bars. Often, the stakes are set higher. This is the case with Egyptian conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad, who is currently imprisoned for publishing an article criticising the Egyptian military on his website. He has been on hunger strike since August the 23rd -that's 84 days in total.

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