Following the recent judgements of the European Court of Human Rights in cases of conscientious objectors from Turkey - Demirtaş v. Turkey from 17 January 2012 and Erçep v. Turkey from 22 November 2011 - two Turkish military courts have now for the first time recognised the right to conscientious objection, albeit with serious and highly problematic limitations.
On 12 April 2012, Emad El Dafrawi declared his conscientious objection to military service, and thus became the second publicly known conscientious objector in the country, after Maikel Nabil Sanad. In his conscientious objection declaration, Emad El Dafrawi writes: "I’m pacifist and anti-militarist, which means that the military activities including holding weapons and using violence contradict my beliefs. I’m a conscientious objector to the military service. I refuse to obey military orders and I consider all wars to be crimes."
While another conscientious objector was sent to prison for two years (see co-alert, 1 May 2012), Turkmenistan's human rights record was for the first time examined by the Human Rights Committee during it's 104th session in New York.
In March 2012, two representatives of War Resisters' International visited Seoul in South Korea for meetings with World Without War, the South Korean organisation of conscientious objectors. While the main purpose of the visit was a 2-day workshop with activists from World Without War on strategies for the right to conscientious objection, the visit was also filled with other activities.
International Study Conference, Darmstadt, Germany 8-10 June, 2012
War Resisters' International is organising an international study conference on countering the militarisation of youth, in cooperation with German partner organisations and supported by the German teachers union (GEW). The conference will not just look at military recruitment and counter-recruitment actions, but will take a much broader view on the militarisation of youth, the creation of a culture and value system favourable to recruitment.