To be a conscientious objector in a country where this right is not recognised is not easy. The case of Ismail Saygi, a Turkish conscientious objector who declared his objection after having served seven month of military service, and who now withdrew his CO declaration following his arrest and maltreatment in military prison highlights the hardship objectors may face.
Turkish conscientious objector İsmail Saygı, who had been arrested on 16 March 2008 in İstanbul, withdrew his declaration as conscientious objector while in military prison. İsmail Saygı had been taken into custody on his way home during an ID check.
The Ibero-American Convention on Young People's Rights, which entered into force on 1 March 2008, explicitly recognises the right to conscientious objection. Article 12 of the Convention reads: "Young people have the right to form a conscientious objection against compulsory military service." It also includes a commitment of states to create legal instruments to safeguard this right, and to progressively end compulsory military service.
Bolivia’s ombudsperson, Waldo Albarracín, said this Thursday that if the Senate does not change a draft law on compulsory military service approved by the Chamber of Deputies he will turn to international authorities to denounce the government for human rights violations.
Albarracín, who has observed a number of bureaucratic irregularities which attempt to ‘force through’ the approval of the draft law, declared that the rules constitute a flagrant violation of human rights and children’s rights, making children of 16, 17 and 18 years ol
15/05/08: International Conscientious Objection Day
15 May is International Conscientious Objection Day. This year the War Resisters' International's focus for the day will be on counter-recruitment and the right to consientious objection for professional soldiers.
Activities are being organised by several WRI affiliates and other organisations, not necessarily with the same thematical focus.