Welcome to CO-Update No 8. One focus of this issue is War Resisters' International's work at different United Nations bodies - on Eritrea at the Commission for Human Rights, and on Greece at the Human Rights Committee.
Kat Barton, QPSW Peaceworker with War Resisters' International, presented WRI's report on conscientious objection in Greece (which she authored) at the meeting of the Human Rights Committee in New York.
Today, on 1 April 2005, the Military Court of Athens ruled in a trial of conscientious objector Sergey Gutarov, who had been arrested unexpectedly yesterday on charges of insubordination, that he "is innocent". Alexia Tsouni reports:
The Chilean Senate rejected draft regulations for conscientious objection which were included in a report of the Commission on Defence on military reform in early March. While the overall report was approved with 18:15 votes, the Senate voted out the CO regulation by a majority of 17:14. According to the proposed regulations, conscientious objection would have been recognised in principle for reasons of conscience based on religious, philosophical or ethical convictions. However, a CO application would only have been possible within 30 days after public call-up.
15 May - International Conscientious Objectors' Day
International Conscientious Objectors' Day 2005 focuses on the situation of conscientious objectors in Greece. War Resisters' International and the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors are organising an international seminar and nonviolence training, leading to an international nonviolent action on conscientious objection in Thessaloniki on 15 May.
The activities will start on 9 May, and will last until 15 May.