Conscientious objector Robin Long
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (President George W Bush). 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 President George W Bush,
I am very concerned about the sentencing of conscientious objector Robin Long, who was sentenced on 22 August to 15 months, after being deported from Canada on 15 July.
Three years ago, Robin Long fled to Canada rather than fight a war in Iraq he deems immoral and illegal. On July 15th, the Canadian government forcibly returned Long to U.S. military custody, making him the first war resister deported from Canadian soil since the Vietnam War.
The United States recognises the human right to conscientious objection in principle, but in practice many conscientious objectors are denied to exercise their right, and are sentenced by military courts instead - just as has happened to Robin Long. This in practice is a violation of their human right to conscientious objection.
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).
I therefore urge you to immediately release Robin Long, and all imprisoned conscientious objectors. I urge you to respect human rights.