Russian Federation

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.

A report by Human Rights Watch revealed Russian authorities' ongoing conscription and forced enlistment of Ukrainian civilians, including those in detention, in occupied areas into the Russian military, Human Rights Watch. This practice, compelling Ukrainian residents in occupied areas to join the Russian armed forces, unequivocally constitutes a war crime.

Military officials rejected the alternative civilian service applications of four young Baptists in Siberia and the Far East. The four men had all set out their pacifist religious convictions. Brothers Daniil and German Strelkov are preparing to appeal after a court ruled the refusals lawful. Courts twice declined to uphold Zakhar Asmalovsky's lawsuit against the military authorities. Timofey Reznichenko successfully challenged his refusal in court, gaining the right to have his application re-examined.

The ObjectWar Campaign week of action is taking place between 4th-10th December with multiple events across Europe. With their actions, activists are calling on Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to stop the persecution of conscientious objectors and deserters; as well as calling on the European Union to protect those refusing to take part in the war in Ukraine. Find a list of events here.

On the International Day of Peace, September 21st 2023, IFOR, WRI, EBCO, and Connection e.V. urge the involved countries in the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine to mobilise for peace instead of war, and the EU and the international community to invest in diplomacy and negotiations instead of weapons and militarism.

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) has announced our intention to nominate three exceptional organizations for the 2024 Nobel Peace Prize: the Russian Movement of Conscientious Objectors, the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, and the Belarusian organization “Our House”. The decision to nominate these three organizations is a testament to their unwavering dedication in advocating for the right to conscientious objection to military service and promoting human rights and peace in their respective countries.

CONTENT WARNING: this article makes references to sexual violence, torture, and other details that some readers may find upsetting.
The Wagner Group is a Russian paramilitary organisation founded in 2014 by former GRU officer Dmitry Utkin and businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, and has been described as “one of Russia’s most influential foreign policy tools”. Since its founding, Wagner Group has become known for its readiness to use extreme levels of violence and brutality during its operations.

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