GERMANY: Second arrest for total objector Jonas Grote


German total objector Jonas Grote (DE14923) was given a second
arrest of 21 days yesterday afternoon. Jonas Grote, who refuses
military and substitute service for reasons of conscience, already
spent 21 days in military arrest from 23 May until 12 June (see
co-alert, 1
June 2007

In recent years, the German Bundeswehr usually did not call up total
objectors who had announced their total objections to military and
substitute service. However, this is different in the case of Jonas
Grote, although he had already refused the medical examination in
spring 2006. Instead, he had been called up for military service for 1
April 2007, and did present himself during a public action in Karlsruhe
on 15 May 2007.

Lawyer Barbara Kramer, chairperson of the Central office of the rights
and protection of objectors for reasons of conscience (Zentralstelle
KDV) said: "This approach is a fallback into the times of the cold
war. Although the Bundeswehr only has to call-up 35,000 for basic
military service out of 400,000 young men annually, out of all people
it calls up someone who objects to any kind of service out of reasons
of conscience. The continued imprisonment of Jonas Grote is an
unconstitutional attempt to break his conscience.

In 2000, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
issued Recommondation 2 on the detention of conscientious objectors.
The Working Group noted that "repeated incarceration in cases of
conscientious objectors is directed towards changing their conviction
and opinion, under threat of penalty.  The Working Group considers that
this is incompatible with article 18, paragraph 2, of the
International  Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, under which no
one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have
or adopt a belief of his choice.
" It calls for measures "to
prevent the judicial system from being used to force conscientious
objectors to change their convictions
" (E/CN.4/2001/14, chap. IV,
sect. B).

In the case of Jonas Grote, the repeated military arrest is clearly
used to force him to change his convictions. This is unconstitutional
according to the German constitution, and a violation of article 18
paragraph 2 of the ICCPR.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Jonas

Jonas Grote, Heeresfliegerstaffel 269, Otto-Lilienthal-Kaserne,
91154 Roth

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to:

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of
Jonas Grote, and all imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International

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