Conscientious objectors Patrick Sander and Jan-Patrick Ehlert
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Minister of Defense Franz Josef Jung). 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 Minister Franz-Josef Jung,
I am very concerned about the military arrest of conscientious objectors Patrick Sander and Jan-Patrick Ehlert, who both were called up for 1 October 2008, and who both refuse military and substitute service.
Patrick Sander and Jan-Patrick Ehlert are total objectors, 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 total objectors, who refuse any service which is the result of a conscription system, such a service does not exist. Still, their conscience is protected under Article 18 of the ICCPR and Art 4 of the German constitution.
Patrick Sander and Jan-Patrick Ehlert are facing consecutive arrests, in total 63 days or more, before their case will be handed to the civilian criminal justice system. Military arrest is therefore used to attempt to break their 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 Patrick Sander and Jan-Patrick Ehlert.