Welcome to the December issue of CO-Update, our last issue for 2008. In this issue, we give some information on our newly launched Conscientious Objection Information System (COBIS), which we have been working on for the last six months. This system will greatly improve our work for the right to conscientious objection.
Together with its new website, War Resisters'
International launched its new Conscientious Objection Information
System (COBIS) on 26 November 2008. The COBIS system combines several
elements of War Resisters' International's work on conscientious
On 27 November 2008, U.S. Army
Specialist Andre’ Shepherd applied for asylum in Germany. After
attending college and failing to find meaningful employment, Shepherd
enlisted in the military early in 2004. The promises of financial
security and international adventure easily trumped working at a fast
food chain. He became an Apache airframe mechanic, hoping to someday
qualify up to the role of helicopter pilot.
In an article entitled The truth about Sishawan, the Italian edition of the website PeaceReporter reported on 1 August 2008 on the cases of two Italian helicopter crew who refused to fire at civilians.
WRI's Colombian affiliate Red Juvenil reported a new round of
arbitrary recruitment in Medellin in October and November 2008.
'Batidas', the recruiting of youth on the street or public places if
they cannot show the right military papers, have been observed in
various places of Medellin, among others the main transport terminal in
the north of Medellin, several metro stations, the football stadium of
Medellin, and in several poorer neighbourhoods of the city (Comunas 2,
5, 6, 13).
In November 2008, WRI Council member and MEP
Tobias Pflüger published a new publication on "Professional soldiers
and the right to conscientious objection in the European Union",
based on research of War Resisters' International. The publication
provides an overview of the present state of the right to conscientious
objection in the European Union, including the candidate countries
Croatia, Turkey, and FYROM (Macedonia).
18 December 2008:
Day of action for the release of Israeli conscientious objectors
The Jewish-American group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has announced
a solidarity campaign with the Shministim, a group of Israeli high
school students who refuse to serve in the Israeli military because of
the occupation of Palestinian Territories. Historian Howard Zinn, a
member of JVP’s Advisory Board, asked tens of thousands of JVP
supporters to help secure thousands of letters to the ISraeli Minister
of Defense on behalf of the Shministim.