Dear Minister Franz Josef Jung,
I am very concerned about the military arrest of conscientious objector Silvio Walther, arrested on 18 July 2008 for a fourth military arrest.
Silvio Walther is a total objector, and therefore opposed to military and substitute civilian service.
The right to conscientious objection is enshrined in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Any substitute civilian service has to be non-punitive, and needs to be compatible with the reasons for the conscientious objection. In the case of Moritz Kagelmann, who refuses any service which is the result of a conscription system, such a service does not exist. Still, his conscience is protected under Article 18 of the ICCPR and Art 4 of the German constitution.
Silvio Walther is facing consecutive arrests, in total 63 days or more, before his case will be handed to the civilian criminal justice system. Military arrest is therefore used to attempt to break Silvio Walther's convictions, in clear violation of international and national legal standards.
I call on you to respect the right to conscientious objection, and to immediately release Silvio Walther.