Right to Refuse to Kill

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War Resisters' International's programme The Right to Refuse to Kill combines a wide range of activities to support conscientious objectors individually, as well as organised groups and movements for conscientious objection.

Our main publications are CO-Alerts (advocacy alerts sent out whenever a conscientious objector is prosecuted) and CO-Updates (a bimonthly look at developments in conscientious objection around the world).

We maintain the CO Guide - A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the International Human Rights System, which can help COs to challenge their own governments, and protect themselves from human rights abuses.

Information about how nation states treat conscientious objectors can be found in our World Survey of Conscientious Objection and recruitment.

More info on the programme is available here.

On 16 July, one week before his 21st birthday, Baptist conscientious objector Davit Nazaretyan received the Cassation Court's rejection of his final appeal against his two-year jail term. His application for alternative service had been rejected. "Davit could be taken to jail at any time," his pastor, Mikhail Shubin, told Forum 18 from Yerevan. "I am very disappointed by this decision," human rights defender Isabella Sargsyan of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation told Forum 18. "It is important to follow this particular case as well as the system more generally."

This morning (10th July 2024), Mr. Volker Turk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded the interactive dialogue at the UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Ukraine. Connection e.V. collaborated with War Resisters International to the drafting and delivering of an oral statement in the plenary, calling for the end of the war in Ukraine and for the protection of the human rights of those who object to the war. Among others, the case of the human rights defender, Yurii Sheliazhenko, and of his organization, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement have been raised.

This morning at the UN in Geneva it took place at the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. On this occasion, Connection e.V. together with War Resisters’ International prepared and delivered a statement in the plenary addressing the right to conscientious objection to military service and calling on the Council and Belarus to protect human rights.

This morning, June 26th, on the occasion of the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council, it took place in Geneva the conclusion of the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. Connection e.V. took the floor, in collaboration with WRI, to raise the issue of denial of asylum to conscientious objectors and to call on the members of the Human Rights Council to protect conscientious objectors whose human rights are violated in their country of origin.

On the occasion of International Conscientious Objection Day, on 15th May 2024, we are launching the international action #RefuseWar! Join us with your statements against the militarisation of our societies and in solidarity with conscientious objectors worldwide.

EBCO, WRI, IFOR, and Connection e.V. strongly condemn the third (!) imprisonment of Turkish-Cypriot reservist conscientious objector Halil Karapaşaoğlu. We call on the authorities in the "TRNC" to urgently amend the Military Service Act so as to recognise the right of conscientious objection to military service, and to implement the Murat Kanatlı v Türkiye judgement of the European Court of Human Rights.

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