The libreta militar (military card), will no longer be required to graduate from university in Colombia, meaning that those who have not completed military service will now be able to receive their degrees. However, a libreta militar is still required for the enjoyment of many other rights. For example, you still require a libreta militar to work in many jobs. When batidas (forced recruitment raids) occur, it is those without a libreta militar i.e. those who cannot prove that they have completed compulsory military service, including conscientious objectors, who are most at risk. Antimilitarists in Colombia will continue to campaign for the abolition of the libreta, and indeed military service. The campaign: Libre de Libreta (freedom from military cards) that we highlighted in the last War Resisters' Stories continues!
Conscientious objector Haluk Selam Tufanlı was imprisoned on 4th December in northern Cyprus for refusing to undertake reserve military service. International actions were held on Tuesday 9th December 2014 in Athens, Istanbul, Nicossia and London. See photos from all the actions here. The Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus said 'In the northern part of Cyprus, the military service and annual reserve army practice are compulsory for male citizens above 18. The militarization of the island is not limited to the compulsory army service and reserve service; the civilians are being tried at the military court, the police is under the control of the Turkish army, there are lessons taught by soldiers in schools, and the cities and rural areas are under the direct physical invasion of the Turkish army which is ongoing for the last 40 years.'
The first edition of WRI's Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns (published in 2009) continues to be translated into more languages. Indonesian was the first translation, coming soon after the English version was published. Since that first translation, the book has been translated into 11 languages. The Slovak version was the latest to be completed - just last month. This month we have also made the handbook available online in Ukrainian. Work is under way to translate the second edition of the Handbook. Please get in touch with us if you would like to translate it.
Coinciding with Human Rights Day, and after many months of preparations and consultations, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) announced the launch of the all-year-round Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS). The launch saw the unveiling of the new Campaign website, at the same address as the GDAMS one: www.demilitarize.org. The next Global Day of Action on Military Spending will take place on 13 April 2015. WRI welcomes the launch of this campaign and will continue to support the global day of action as well as the year long campaign.
44 states have called for a prohibition on nuclear weapons at a conference in Vienna on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons. The "Austrian pledge" was then delivered, in which Austria's government committed to work to “fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons”. These announcements were given at a two-day international conference convened in Vienna to examine the consequences of nuclear weapon use, whether intentional or accidental.
On 2nd March the European antimilitarist network is taking part in blockade of Burghfield nuclear weapons factory in Britain: Burghfield Lockdown. Campaigns are building up in Britain against nuclear weapons, since the decision to replace (or decomission) the Trident nuclear weapons system will take place in 2016.