Welcome to this issue of CO-Update - a double issue, as there won't be another CO-Update before late May/early June, as I will be traveling in Latin America, visiting CO and other groups related to WRI in Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Surprisingly, another practice discriminating conscientious objectors in Greece has recently been overturned by the Greek Council of State. In the case of conscientious objector Evangelos Delis, who served in the Greek army in 1992 but who has since converted to being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Council of State ruled on 15 January 2010 that the Greek law on conscientious objection "must be read in such a way that a person has the right to change his religion even after having served in the military and has the right to claim conscientious objector status".
Faced with a declining number of men in the prime draft age group and increasing resistance even among them, the Russian defense ministry is calling for extending the length of time during which the spring draft will take place, drafting men as old as 30, reducing the number of deferments and bringing to justice those who illegally avoid service, Eurasia Review reported on 1 May 2010.
On 14 April 2010, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations ruled on 11 more cases of conscientious objectors, which had been submitted on 15 May 2007, following the first ground-breaking ruling of the Human Rights Committee from November 2006 (see CO-Update No 27, February 2007). In line with its earlier decision, the Human Rights Committee came to the following conclusion:
Taiwan claims to abolish conscription from 1 January 2015 on. However, a closer look reveals that this is not really the case. Potential conscripts born in 1994 or later would only have to undergo four months of basic military training, reports said. Those born before who had not served yet, would still be expected to serve for one year, Ministry of National Defense personnel chief Chao Ko-ta told lawmakers according to Taiwan News.
Connections and disconnections: antimilitarism, feminism, women, conscientious objection and contra-hegemonic sexualities – 10/11 May 2010
As part of the activities for 15 May 2010, an international seminar will take place in Asunción, Paraguay, on 10 and 11 May 2010, organised by La comuna de Emma, Chana Y Todas las Demas in cooperation with a range of other groups from Paraguay and Latin America.
Conscientious objectors are generally seen as male — as are soldiers. This book breaks with this assumption. Women conscientiously object to military service and militarism. Not only in countries which conscript women — such as Eritrea and Israel — but also in countries without conscription of women. In doing so, they redefine antimilitarism from a feminist perspective, opposing not only militarism, but also a form of antimilitarism that creates the male conscientious objector as the ‘hero’ of antimilitarist struggle.