GERMANY: Total objector in military arrest


On Sunday, 14 October 2007, military police arrested German total
objector Moritz Kagelmann (DE14934), and transferred him to 'his'
military unit in Strausberg.

Moritz Kagelmann had been called up to report for military service on
1 October, but did not do so. As a total objector he also refused to
apply for conscientious objector status, as this would imply
acceptance of the civilian substitute service, which he views as
another form of forced labour.

It is the usual practice of the German military to impose consecutive
disciplinary arrest on total objectors, up to a total of 63 days -
and in some cases even 84 days - before the case is passed on to the
criminal justice system for criminal prosecution, which can in theory
lead to imprisonment of up to five years. In practice, imprisonment
has been rare in recent years, with most sentences either being
suspended sentences or fines.

The repeated disciplinary arrest for total objectors however is
reason for concern. The official purpose of disciplinary arrest is to
change the behaviour of the person concerned - it is not a means of
punishment. Therefore, it is not according to the rules to impose
disciplinary arrest when a change of behaviour cannot be expected. No
case of a total objector is known where disciplinary arrest achieved
a 'change of heart' - arrest therefore amounts to punishment and is

Mortiz Kagelmann is presently serving his first disciplinary arrest.
It is to be expected that more arrests will follow - until about

  • War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to
    Moritz Kagelmann

Moritz Kagelmann, Barnim-Kaserne, Umgehungsstrasse 1, 15344
Strausberg, Germany

  • War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to
    the German Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Jung, or German embassies
    abroad. An email letter can be sent at

  • War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release
    of Moritz Kagelmann, and all imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International

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