On 21 April, Aytek Özel — the former chair of the Turkish War Resisters Association in Izmir — was sentenced to one year and 15 days for seeking to turn the Turkish people against the military. The remarks were made in a TV interview on 8 December when Aytek said he supported people not reporting for military service, adding that he would not consign any child of his to the army.
Rodrigo Juan Villagra Carron has become the first "official" CO in LA. He is one of the five Paraguayan COs who did a public presentation last September, and on 15 March, a judge recognised him as CO. The right to CO is recognised in the Paraguayan constitution, but there is no regulatory law detailing what provisions should be made for COs.
On 8 April, a Moscow district court excused conscientious objector Pavel Zverev from military service. Judge Lidiya Sorokina read Article 59 of the constitution aloud in court. She ruled that this constitutional assurance should be upheld, even though there is still no law establishing a structure for civilian service.
In May 1992, in Oromhegyes/Tresnjevac, Vojvodina, Yugoslavia, 200 reservists refused the call-up for military service (called "training"). Following this, 50 Yugoslav tanks surrounded the village for 40 days and the Zitzer Spiritual Republic was born.
In London, International CO Day was marked by the unveiling of a memorial to conscientious objectors in Tavistock Square. The inscription on the slab of 450-million-year-old Cumbrian rock reads "To all those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill. Their foresight and courage give us hope".
The Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund in London exists to give money to nonviolent prisoners of conscience. The funds are intended as personal support for the prisoner or prisoner's family. The POC Fund tends to operate by the same criteria as Amnesty International, stressing that prisoners must not have advocated violence.
A core group meeting of the WRI Women's Working Group was held in London on March 24. Several important issues were on the agenda: how to improve communication and keep in touch with women interested in the working group; the process for accepting new core group members; an evaluation of the Days of Action (25 November and 8 March); the women's presentation at the next Triennial in Brazil; and finally, the Women's Working Group's attitude towards the upcoming United Nation's 4th World Conference on Women (WCW), which is to be held in September 1995. The choice of Beijing, China, as the venue for this international event carries strong political implications, given the Chinese government's blatant violations of human rights. Should the WRI women's group accept to participate? The UN World Conference on Women —subtitled "Action for Equality, Development, and Peace"— aims to review and appraising the progress made since the Nairobi conference marking the end of the UN Decade of Women in 1985. Several thousands people are expected to take part in the event.
Preparations for the next WRI Triennial in São Leopoldo, Brazil, are now well under way. The last Triennial Committee meeting on 25 March discussed the main elements of the programme, which consists of a mixture of small meetings and larger sessions.