Portugal

Portugal

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Issues

Portugal does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Military recruitment
Conscription

With Law 174/1999 (Law on Military Service, Lei do Serviço Militar)1
Portugal abolished conscription and started a transformation process into fully professional armed forces. The last conscripts were called up for military service in 2004.

During the NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015 the alliance will practice military interventions in North Africa

Marines from the US train in la Sierra del Retin, Barbate

The NATO exercise Trident Juncture 2015 will take place during October 2015 and until early November in Italy, Portugal, and the State of Spain. According to a variety of sources, this will be the “largest exercise of NATO since the end of the Cold War”1, “largest exercise conducted by the Alliance since 2002” (…) and “the Alliance’s most important exercise in 2015”2, or “the largest deployment of the Alliance in the last decade”3. The exercise consists of two clearly distinguished phases, a command post exercise (CPX, 3-16 October) and a phase of real action (Live Exercise, LIVEX, 21 October-6 November).

Press Release - 20 November 2010

NATO GAME OVER! With this message peace activists from all over Europe are today blocking the NATO summit in Lisbon.

About 50 activists from Portugal, Spain, Finland, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland blocked one of the access roads for participating delegates and government officials to the summit. With chains and locks attached to their bodies they try to delay the summit from taking place in order to disturb NATO' s future planning.

Press release 18.11.2010 at 09.15

Portuguese border guard denied entry of 35 Finnish antimilitarists to Portugal early on Thursday morning. The group was on it's way to NATO summit's non-violent counter event in Lisbon, Portugal. The bus trip is organized Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto (Union of COs, Finland).

Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto believes that the right to demonstrate should be part of every democracy in any situation. "Is NATO so much afraid of non-violent demonstrators, that they can't even be allowed in the same country?" Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto wonders.

Press Release/Invitation 17 November 2010

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training in Lisbon

Place and hour: Praça do Rossio: Thursday 18 November : 16:00

Between 19 and 21 of November, NATO will meet to discuss it's future by approval of it's new strategic concept in Lisbon. Portuguese and European activists are preparing for non-violent actions against this summit.

From 19 to 21 November the NATO summit will take place in Lisbon, with Obama, the best known of the leaders, present.

The stated objective of the summit is the adoption of a new Strategic Concept – the seventh this the foundation of NATO – and with it, the ratification of the actions of NATO in the last years, especially in Afghanistan and Somalia; the more precise definition of NATO's actions in the coming years, especially in relation to Iran; and to guarantee the cohesion of its member states under the strict obedience to the decisions of the Pentagon.

The German Marshall Fund of the United States annually does a survey on important "transatlantic trends", which can make an interesting read. One of the questions asked is: "Please tell me to what extent do you agree with the following: Under some conditions, was is necessary to obtain justice." (Q29.2). The answers are quite revealing (see graphic below).

In this presentation I will give an overview of the right to conscientious objection, its
legal practices and frameworks in the 27 European Union member states. Before I do so, I want to step back a bit and have a brief look at the existing international standards about the right to
conscientious objection, as these standards allow us to put the practices in the EU member states into a perspective.

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