Conscientious objection

A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System launched

Empowering conscientious objectors to take advantage of human rights mechanisms

We're extremely happy to announce the launch of 'A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System'. This is an update of 'A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the UN Human Rights System', published in 2000, and covers the multitude of developments that have taken place in terms of human rights and conscientious objection since then.

The Insumisión movement against military service in Spain: legitimate disobedience

Carlos Pérez Barranco

In December 2001, the last recruits abandoned military barracks across Spain after having completed the final nine months of obligatory military service. In many European states, the end of forced recruitment had been motivated almost exclusively by the military forces' evolution towards global intervention operations, whilst in Spain the system of forced recruitment had collapsed despite years of government efforts.

Crackdown on Greek COs was expected and may intensify

Since the beginning of the year, a crackdown on conscientious objectors (and maybe draft evaders in general) has taken place in Greece. The arrest of 44 year old Nikolaos Karanikas in February, followed by that of 37 year old Haralampos Akrivopoulos in March, and of 30 year old Menelaos Exioglou in April, were the first after many years of relative calm. In this period, COs who were total objectors or refused to accept a punitive alternative service were still prosecuted and sentenced (some times in absentia) - to suspended prison sentences, in military courts - but without arrests.

Joe Glenton: why I refused to fight in Afghanistan

Conscientious Objector Joe Glenton and author of Soldier Box, speaking on why he refused to serve in Afghanistan: http://joeglenton.com/

As part of the panel as part of the COnscription exhibition on International Conscientious Objectors Day: http://www.filmpro.net/conscription-panel-discussion

With thanks to Paul at Fourman Films for this: http://www.youtube.com/user/fourmanfilms

Conscription: coming slowly to and end in Finland?

Kaj Raninen

Conscription have had a very special role in Finnish society. For decades, conscription for males was seen as an integral part of Finnish society, and for the vast majority of young Finnish men it was self evident that they would do military service. In fact, until the early 1990's, almost 90% of them did it. If someone dared to question conscription system, they were usually ridiculed.

Joint Statement: Freedom to Conscientious Objectors in the Middle East

Related peace activists: 

Natan Blanc holding pictures of Emad and Mohammed (with thanks for the photo to Yesh Gvul)Natan Blanc holding pictures of Emad and Mohammed (with thanks for the photo to Yesh Gvul)Together, we in No to Compulsory Military Service (Egypt) and New Profile (Israel) confirm our support of peace and of conscientious objectors in both countries, re-affirming the human right to freedom of conscience, faith and self-determination.

Turkey falling short on conscientious objection says EU Commissioner

The Turkish government has been criticised by an EU Commissioner for omitting conscientious objection reform from its package of reforms designed to align Turkish legislation with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

European Commissioner Stefan Füle said on April 12th, “While I understand the focus of the Fourth Judicial Reform package is on compliance with European Court of Human Rights rulings, I note with regret the omission of conscientious objection in the package”.

Special Rapporteur calls for the recognition of conscientious objection in Cyprus

The UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, has highlighted issues with conscientious objection to military service in the Republic of Cyprus and the northern Turkish-administered region.

Turkmen complainants tortured

The cases of ten Turkmen Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors are being considered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The complainants, led by Navruz Nasyrlaev, filed complaints of torture and violation of their rights to freedom of religion or belief with the UN Human Rights Committee on 3 September 2012.

These complaints have noted that in the Seydi Labour Camp - where most conscientious objectors (COs) are held - COs have regularly been subjected to spells in the punishment cell, whilst some have been brutally beaten.

Regression in Greece

Related peace activists: 

Over the past months, there has been a dramatic upswing in the persecution of conscientious objectors in Greece. All of those listed below have already been tried or imprisoned, some over twenty years ago, and they now face further legal action against them.

These cases include

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