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ISRAEL: Druze conscientious objector Armo Said Naffa arrested

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  • Israel
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Armo Said NaffaArmo Said NaffaWar Resisters' International is concerned about the recent arrest of Druze conscientious objector Armo Said Naffa.

Armo Said Naffa, 18 year old from the Palestinian town of Bit Jan in northern Israel was arrested after he refused to be conscripted into the IDF. Armo Said Naffa is a member of the Druze religious community, whose male members are conscripted to the Israeli army.

Armo Said Naffa is rejecting any part of a military that occupies and oppresses the Palestinian people.

The imprisonment of Armo Said Naffa is a violation of article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Israel is a party. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in opinion 24/2003 on Israel came to the conclusion that the repeated imprisonment of conscientious objectors in Israel is arbitrary, and therefore it constitutes a violation of 14 par 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Israel is a signatory. The United Nations Human Rights Committee recognised in a decision from January 2007 the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as guaranteed by Article 18 ICCPR. In fact, in this decision on two cases of conscientious objectors from South Korea, the Human Rights Committee stated that not to provide for the right to conscientious objection is a violation of Article 18 ICCPR (see CCPR/C/88/D/1321-1322/2004 from 23 January 2007). The Human Rights Committee since on two occasions decided on further cases on South Korea, with the same result.

It has to be feared that Armo Said Naffa faces repeated imprisonment for his refusal to perform military service.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter to Israels Minister of Defence Ehud Barak can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/15235.

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objector Armo Said Naffa, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International