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In January, there were significant developments for conscientious objectors in Northern Cyprus: Conscientious objector Halil Karapasaoglu, who has repeatedly declared his refusal to perform reserve service, was put on trial and sentenced to a fine - which Halil refused to pay and was imprisoned. Meanwhile, Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus mobilised hundreds of people to support Halil - both on the streets and on social media. Halil was released following his appeal. In parallel to the public discussions on Halil's case, the government of the North Cyprus, a self-declared state recognised only by Turkey, announced a draft law recognising the right to conscientious objection.

HSBC - Europe's largest bank - has announced that it has divested from Elbit Systems, an Israeli arms company which builds a wide range of weaponry used by the Israeli military and many other armies around the world.

Safariland is an American company, founded in California in 1964, specialising in a wide range of products and services for police and security forces. Safariland is made up of a number of different companies and brands, and has estimated revenues of $500 million.

For the 100th anniversary of World War I, activists in Brussels held an alternative remembrance ceremony and put up posters around the city to highlight Belgium and Europe’s complicity in current wars through the arms trade.

On November 22, in Colombia, ACOOC, Justapaz, La TULPA Collective and the Anti-militarist Articulation organized a public forum to discuss the law of conscription that regulates conscientious objection in Colombia after one year of its approval. As part of the event, the organizations released a report that evaluates the implementation of the law and its impact on conscientious objectors. The experiences of three conscientious objectors were presented and strategies were presented to continue promoting conscientious objection among the youth of the country.

This November, many activists from around the world took action against the militarisation of young people in their countries, cities and towns. This was part of a global action: the International Week of Action Against the Militarisation of Youth. Initiated by War Resisters' International, the week was held for the 5th time this year. 

In mid-November, as European Union leaders made plans for the next EU budgetary cycle, 42 European non-profits and NGOs issued a letter criticising the bloc's plans for a European Defence Fund.

Germany has been joined by Finland, Netherlands, and Denmark in a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The decisions follow the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and announcements by the United Nations that Yemen is experiencing the worst famine the world has seen for 100 years.

L3 Technologies is one of the world’s biggest arms companies, ranking 8th in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual list of the top 100 arms companies. The company was founded in 1997, and by 2017 the companies revenues were over $9.5 billion.

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