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Activists in London -including WRI affiliates Campaign Against Arms Trade and Peace Pledge Union - have taken direct action to protest and disrupt a major networking and social event held by the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security, and Space Trade Association.

This statement was originally published by War Resisters League, one of WRI's affiliates in the USA, and endorsed by WRI Executive Committee.

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Dear friends,

As hundreds of arms dealers prepared to gather for the annual European Defence Agency conference, hundreds of posters appeared throughout the European quarter in Brussels protesting the arms industry and its CEOs’ complicity in arming dictatorial regimes and in the militarisation of European borders.

A new arms fair taking place in Japan has been met by protests from peace groups. The fair, called DSEI Japan, was held in Chiba City, near Tokyo, from the 18th to the 20th November.

War Resisters' International has recently been joined by new affiliates. One of the new affiliates of our expanding network is the Ambazonian Prisoners of Conscience Support Network (APOCS Net). On this Prisoners for Peace Day, we feature APOCS Net's work and encourage our followers to write to Ambozinian prisoners of conscience, alongside other prisoners for peace and conscience.

The International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth starts this Saturday! For the sixth time, activists from across different countries will be organising events to raise awareness on how the military and military values are promoted to young people, and how we can challenge it.

This year has been perhaps the most crucial year for conscientious objectors in Greece since the establishment of alternative civilian service in 1997-1998. After years of efforts, there was an opportunity for significant changes. Certain improvements in the legislative framework were achieved but the most important one, the reduction of the length of alternative civilian service was quickly annulled after the summer general elections by the new right-wing Greek government.

Trump outlined a strategy for securing the Southern Border that included peddling the idea that as president, he would build a large wall to keep out dangerous migrants (read: poor and of color) from the United States. This strategy of building border walls, which was significantly expanded under Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush Jr., has created a human rights disaster that barely gets any reasonable attention in United States media.

In Turkmenistan, appeals of two conscientious objectors against their one-year jail terms for refusing compulsory military service were rejected. Nine conscientious objectors are now jailed, six of them in 2019. The United Nations ruled that Turkmenistan violated the rights of three more conscientious objectors jailed in 2013.

Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey) member Furkan Çelik was indicted by the Office of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor on charges of "alienating the public from military service." Furkan Çelik was accused in relation to the social media posts on CO Association's Twitter account.