USA: Women CO Katherine Jashinski imprisoned
Katherine Jashinski, an Army National Guard specialist who refused to
deploy to Iraq, and who was denied conscientious objector status, was
sentenced to 120 days of imprisonment on 23 May 2006. In a statement
explaining her conscientious objection, Katherine Jashinski said:
"I am a SPC in the Texas Army National
Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old. At age 19 I
enlisted in the Guard as a cook because I wanted to experience military
life. When I enlisted I believed that killing was immoral, but also
that war was an inevitable part of life and therefore, an exception to
After enlisting I began the slow transformation into adulthood. Like
many teenagers who leave their home for the first time, I went through
a period of growth and soul searching. I encountered many new people
and ideas that broadly expanded my narrow experiences. After reading
essays by Bertrand Russel and traveling to the South Pacific and
talking to people from all over the world, my beliefs about humanity
and its relation to war changed. I began to see a bigger picture of the
world and I started to reevaluate everything that I had been taught
about war as a child. I developed the belief that taking human life was
wrong and war was no exception. I was then able to clarify who I am and
what it is that I stand for.
The thing that I revere most in this world is life, and I will never
take another person's life. Just as others have faith in God, I have
faith in humanity
I have a deeply held belief that people must solve all conflicts
through peaceful diplomacy and without the use of violence. Violence
only begets more violence.
Because I believe so strongly in non-violence, I cannot perform any
role in the military. Any person doing any job in the Army, contributes
in some way to the planning, preparation or implementation of war.
For eighteen months, while my CO status was pending, I have honored my
commitment to the Army and done everything that they asked of me.
Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my
legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to
make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I
have a moral obligation not only to myself but to the world as a whole,
and this is more important than any contract.
I will exercise my every legal right not pick up a weapon, and to
participate in war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO,
and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow
orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been
resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my
She was finally charged with "missing movement" and "refusing to obey
an order" and had already spent 53 days in confinement prior to her
trial on 23 May. At the trial, she plead guilty to "refusing to obey an
order", and was sentenced to 120 days of confinement. She was acquitted
of charges for "missing movement". She has 47 days of confinement left
in her sentence.
According to the Center on
Conscience and War, Katherine Jashinski is the first women CO to be
jailed in the current war.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Katherine
A Company, CRC
Bldg 4712, Harmony Church
Ft. Benning, GA 31905
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the US
authorities, or US embassies abroad. A protest email to US President
George W. Bush can be sent at /co/alerts/20060525a.html.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of
Katherine Jashinski and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
War Resisters' International
War Resisters' International
Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts