This edition of CO Update includes some occasions where international solidarity and international legal mechanisms are being used to support conscientious objectors. There has been an international outcry from supporters of human rights defenders as a Tajik NGO is shut down, ostensibly for administrative reasons, but allegedly as a political sanction. Recently the European Court of Human Rights highlighted Armenia's neglect of its international obligations towards COs. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Committee is pressuring the Turkish government to adopt legislation recognizing and regulating conscientious objection to military service, and to suspend all proceedings against conscientious objectors. You'll also read about some of the ways WRI will be supporting the movement in Colombia.
Last but not least, Andreas Speck – who has built up WRI's work on conscientious objection since 2001 - will be leaving at the end of the month to pursue new challenges (not least navigational ones!) as he cycles around Latin America. Andreas' humour, immense knowledge and bread-making skills are not only going to be massively missed in the office, but also in the WRI network. As WRI Chair Howard Clark puts it: 'All over the world - from Turkey and Egypt to Russia, South Korea and Latin America - there are objector groups who have benefited from his understanding of their context and support in making them more effective.' Hear hear!