December 1st is Prisoners for Peace Day. On this day (and every day) we encourage you to show solidarity with the activists and conscientious objectors imprisoned due to their peace work and their refusal to take arms and perform military service.
Conscientious objectors to military service continue to be imprisoned in many countries today. WRI regularly updates its list of imprisoned conscientious objectors and organise solidarity for them. In this story, you will see conscientious objectors who are known to be behind bars or serving in labour camps by June 2021.
The latest issue of our newsletter CO Update is out! In this issue, you'll find stories on conscientious objection and conscription from Ukraine,Turkey, Eritrea, Germany, USA, Azerbaijan, Thailand, among others.
PRO ASYL and Connection e.V., both based in Germany, released a report criticising the German government for its record of denying refugee status for asylum seekers from Eritrea. In their report, the organisations detailed the ongoing oppressive practices of the Eritrean regime, despite a peace treaty between Ethiopia and Eritrea in July 2018. They called on German authorities and courts to provide necessary protection for Eritreans fleeing the oppression and indefinite conscription in Eritrea in accordance with the UNHCR guidelines and Geneva Convention.
Two court cases, one in the Netherlands, the other in the UK, have been launched to contest the European Union (EU) aid for Eritrea which finances a development project employing conscripts from the Eritrean National Service. Eritrea is notorious with its indefinite national service as part of which men and women are forced to spend a lifetime as conscripts, forced to be part of the military or work in mines, farms and factories with no right to leave and essentially no pay.
A new report on Eritrea published by Human Rights Watch documents the devastating effects of the conscription system on the lives of young Eritreans. In Eritrea, all secondary school students —male and female— are forced to undergo military training to complete their final year. They are sent to Sawa military camp where they follow a schedule combining secondary school classes with compulsory military training.
The organisers of the conference, Eritrea and the Ongoing Refugee Crisis, has published a new booklet: Eritrea: A Country Under the Sway of a Dictatorship. The publication provides a comprehensive overview of the situation in the country, the situation of Eritrean refugees in Europe and elsewhere, as well as introducing their initiatives and activities.
During the 38th session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva, International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) organized a side event, co-sponsored by War Resisters International, focusing on the causes of migration from Eritrea and the struggles of Eritrean refugees.