Welcome to the October issue of the co-update e-newsletter - a little late, but we hope that with the next issue we will get back on schedule.
The focus of this issue is mainly on developments regarding recruitment trends - Canada, China, and the European Union. But one case of a 'conscientious objector' was all over the media recently, and we too mention it in this newsletter: the case of Hakan Ekinci who hijacked a Turkish Airlines plane while being deported from Albania.
With the number of Canadian soldiers going AWOL increasing, and the Canadian military playing an increasingly aggressive role in Afghanistan and Haiti, the Canadian military too seems to have problems recruiting new soldiers. According to the "London Free Press", "[t]he number of Canadian soldiers who have gone absent without leave has doubled in the last six years... Records obtained through access to information show 708 troops were convicted of going AWOL in 2005 - more than twice the 340 convicted of the offence in 2000.
According to a report in People's Daily Online, new recruits of the People's Liberation Army will in future need to pass psychological tests. This is in response to increasing mental and psychological problems among young people in China. According to the report, the PLA recruitment office and research departments started piloting the psychological tests in 2002 in over 400 cities and counties. Over 100,000 applicants have taken the tests.
The new "European Defence Agency" released a report on the "Initial Long-Term Vision for European Defence Capability and Capacity Needs", which was discussed by European Defence Ministers at their meeting in Finland on 3 October. According to the report, which covers issued well beyond of recruitment, the average European will be 45 years old in 2025, and the pool of 16 (!)-30 year olds available for military service will be reduced by 15%.
Hakan Ekinci, 28, who deserted his Istanbul garrison in May and fled to Albania, on Tuesday seized the Turkish Airlines Tirana-Istanbul flight on which he was being deported, threatening the pilot with a parcel disguised as a bomb, officials said. He had made an unsuccessful bid for asylum in Albania earlier.
On 8 September 2006, the European Parliament voted in favour of the right to conscientious objection in Turkey. The issue of conscientious objection was raised in an amendment that had been proposed by EBCO and was introduced into the report by the Green Group. The relevant paragraph reads:
1 December - Prisoners for Peace Day: Focus on Russia
Prisoners for Peace Day 2006 will highlight the situation in Russia, with the new NGO law threatening the work of independent NGOs and the war in Chechnya also leading to increased persecution in Russia itself. The Prisoners for Peace campaign pack will be available early November in English, Spanish, French, and German.