Conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (General Branko Krga, Chief of General Staff). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish.
You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).
Dear General Branko Krga, Chief of General Staff
I am very concerned about the arrest of conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic on 5 December 2003. Nikola Kovacevic applied for his constitutional right to conscientious objection in May 2003, and was subsequently sent to unarmed service in a military economic institution of the Armed Forces of Serbia and Montenegro. This in itself is a violation of his human right to conscientious objection, as unarmed service in the military is not a genuine civilian substitute service.
Nikola Kovacevic complained about the work he was asked to do - working in a slaughterhouse - and refused to carry out his work on several occasions. He was then told he would be transferred to another military economic institution, and was given leave over the weekend. However, during the course of the weekend he was informed that he won't be transferred. Nikola Kovacevic therefore decided not to go back, but to stay at home.
As conscientious objection is a human right, and unarmed service in the military - in a military economic institution - does not meet the criteria set out by the United Nations or the Council of Europe, Nikola Kovacevic is making use of his human right in refusing to continue serving in a military economic institution. I therefore urge you to immediately release Nikola Kovacevic and to provide him with the opportunity to serve in a genuine civilian substitute service. I urge you to respect human rights.