Campaigns: Prisoners for Peace Day

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01 Nov 2004
English
Kaj Raninen

In its own way, Finland is a very militarised country, although it might not look like that at first sight. Finnish militarism does not mean that the military is strikingly visible in society or that it necessarily has more influence in the society than in other Western European countries. It is rather a state of mind, a historically constructed way of thinking, according to which Finland is always under military threat - even when no one has got any idea who might cause this threat or no one can imagine a situation where it might materialise.

01 Nov 2004
English

The defence of the entire country is only possible if general conscription is maintained. The high educational standard of conscripts makes it possible, with the current periods of service, to provide conscript training in even the more demanding tasks, and to recruit high-quality personnel for international crisis management tasks and for the professional personnel posts in the Defence Forces.

01 Nov 2004
English

How the list works

  • First are prisoners' names (in bold), followed by their sentence, then their place of imprisonment and, finally the reason for their detention
  • Information about countries where prisoners have had their sentences suspended, or where sentences have been served or completed during the year are in italics.

Armenia

Although Armenia passed a law on conscientious objection during the year, the country continues to imprison conscientious objectors.

01 Nov 2004
English

In July 2001, Jussi Hermaja was sentenced by a Finnish court for total objection - nothing special, just one of about 70 cases per year. However, unlike most other conscientious objection, Jussi Hermaja did not report to prison, but fled to Belgium in October 2001, and applied for asylum. This was the beginning of a very special asylum case.

01 Nov 2004
English

In October 2004, War Resisters' International released a report to the United Nation Human Rights Committee, titled "Imprisonment of Conscientious Objectors in Finland". WRI's main concerns are:

01 Nov 2004
English

Several groups and organisations work to support conscientious objectors in Finland

Aseistakieltäytyiäliitto
Union of Conscientious Objectors, Peace Station, Veturitori, 00520 Helsinki, Finland
tel +358 9 140427; fax 147297
email akl@aseistakieltaytyjaliitto.fi
www.aseistakieltaytyjaliitto.fi/

01 Nov 2004
English

The Broken Rifle is the newsletter of War Resisters' International, and is published in English, Spanish, French and German. This is issue 64, November 2004.

This issue of The Broken Rifle was produced by Andreas Speck. Special thanks go to Kaj Raninen and Simo Hellsten from Finland, to Amnesty International and Forum 18 News Service, who provided the information used in this issue.

If you want extra copies of this issue of The Broken Rifle, please contact the WRI office, or download it from our website.

01 Oct 2004
English

European Social Forum in London

War Resisters' International and many of its European affiliates are preparing for the European Social Forum, which will take place in London from 15-17 October 2004. You can find out more about WRI's presence at the ESF on WRI's website.

Prisoners for Peace Day 2004

1 December is Prisoners for Peace Day. The focus for this years is conscientious objection in Finland.

01 Sep 2004
English

Friedrich-Siegmund-Schultze Award for WRI

On 28 September, War Resisters' International will receive the Friedrich- Siegmund- Schultze Award for nonviolent action from the Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerung (Protestant Working Group for Conscientious Objection). The award will be given to WRI in a public event in Speyer in the southwest of Germany.

01 Nov 2003
English

Prisoners for Peace Day 2003 focuses on the young movement of conscientious objectors in South Korea. Although conscientious objection in young in terms of a movement, the history of imprisonment of conscientious objectors--of Jehovah's Witnesses--goes back a long while. More than 10,000 Jehovah's Witnesses have been imprisoned in the last 50 years for their conscientious objection, mostly to three years imprisonment, and until recently often several times.