Right to Refuse to Kill

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.

This Thursday, 1st December, is Prisoners for Peace Day, a day to show solidarity with those activists who have been imprisoned for their work for peace and conscientious objectors imprisoned for their refusal to take up arms.

This year, we want to highlight the situation of many people in Russia and Ukraine that are imprisoned or facing imprisonment for resisting the current war in Ukraine. 

You can find the list of Prisoners for Peace here.

Yekaterinburg-based artist Ivan Lyubimov has been fined three times for "discrediting" Russia's armed forces for protesting against Russia's war in Ukraine with posters with religious themes. Police have also taken him to court twice for conducting an illegal demonstration and jailed him for 30 days. A Moscow court fined 72-year-old Catholic Galina Borisova for pinning a note to the Russian flag outside St Louis' Church. Another Moscow court acquitted district deputy Konstantin Yankauskas, saying that reposting Pope Francis' words on social media had not "discredited" the army.

This Thursday, 1st December, is Prisoners for Peace Day, a day to show solidarity with those activists who have been imprisoned for their work for peace and conscientious objectors imprisoned for their refusal to take up arms. See a list of those imprisoned for their peace activism and conscientious objection here.

We, Israeli youth, refuse to join the Israeli army and take part in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip. We call out to all citizens of Israel to open their eyes and see the policy of oppression over the palestinian people carried out by the Israeli government. We object to the militaristic education forced on us by the same oppressive policies, we object to the educational system teaching us to hate our neighbors, and we object to the social norms that prohibits the educational system from sharing the true reality in the Palestinian territories with children and youth.

Since Russia’s ruler Putin declared a partial mobilisation for the war against Ukraine, men and women who want to flee the country out of fear of military service and state repression have been contacting PRO ASYL by the minute. This is the information we can currently give to those affected.

On 22 September, a Goranboy court jailed 22-year-old Jehovah's Witness Seymur Mammadov for nine months for refusing compulsory military service on conscientious grounds. On 25 July – two days after his 18th birthday – officers seized conscientious objector Royal Karimov and forcibly took him to a military unit in Ganca, where he is still held.

Israel will be holding parliamentary elections in November, and we need to make sure our Prime Minister and parliamentary candidates for office understand the occupation needs to end NOW. We will not accept nor participate in human rights violations. We have written the following statement and we need your help to make sure it reaches these Israeli politicians.

An IDF disciplinary body sentenced 18-year-old Israeli conscientious objector Shahar Schwartz to 10 days in military prison on Monday over his refusal to serve in the army. Schwartz, who graduated from high school this year, was jailed after appearing before the IDF’s conscientious objectors committee where he declared his intention to refuse service due to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

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