This is the last issue of co-update for 2007 - we will be taking a break in December, due to staff holidays, and will be back in January 2008.
This issue includes information on two countries of major concern in Europe: Turkey - also the focus for our Prisoners for Peace Day - and Armenia. In both cases the Council of Europe puts pressure on the respective governments, but so far with little positive outcome.
A solution for Osman Murat Ülke and other conscientious objectors?
The Council of Europe has increased its pressure on Turkey in the case of conscientious objector Osman Murat Ülke. Osman Murat Ülke declared his conscientious objection and burned his call-up papers on 1 September 1995 in Izmir. He was arrested more than a year later - on 7 October 1996 - on charges of Article 155, "alienating the people from the military".
The lack of progress in Armenia has been reported several times in co-update. During a visit to Armenia, Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, said in a speech at the Yerevan State University: "There are two more items on the list of areas where we would all like to see further progress: the penitentiary system and what is known as the alternative service for conscientious objectors. [...]
As for alternative service, we are neither here or there.
A debate about conscription also started in Indonesia - but there conscription is to be introduced, not abolished. The proposed revision to the Reserve Forces Act (RUU Komponen Cadangan), put forward by the Department of Defence and which will go
before the parliament in early 2008, contains clauses that will make Army training or service compulsory (wajib militer, wamil) for all citizens aged 18-45.
Conscription is enshrined in the 1945 Constitution. According to art.