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.

On Monday (12th July), Ukrainian Pacifist Movement organised a protest near Turkish embassy in Kyiv in support of conscientious objectors in Turkey. In their statement, they said “Turkey does not recognize human right to conscientious objection, enforce conscription with outrageous cruelty and severely punish objectors, imposing fines and imprisonment for so-called desertion, excluding pacifists from social life to a degree of "civil death," closing their bank accounts, depriving them of access to public services.” 

Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey) released the English edition of their latest bulletin, covering updates on conscientious objection to military service in Turkey from March and April 2021. 

The bulletin includes information on the rights violations of conscientious objectors in Turkey as well as the legal cases followed by the association.

Our webinar series, Campaigning for Conscientious Objection to Military Service, continues with a new event on 16th June (4pm London, 5pm Geneva).

This time, we will have a particular focus on conscientious objection and asylum. On our webinar:

The antimilitarist movement in Colombia describes the situation that has been experienced in Colombia since April 28, 2021, the reasons why demonstrations have been held since that date and the militarized response of the government. This is an urgent call for solidarity to challenge he discourses of war and fear that today find an absolutely opposite correlate to the cultural resistance, the bets for change and the possibility of building horizons more in line with the reality of the Colombian people and their proposals to materialize peace from the territories, in diversity and dignified life.

In a surprise move, the regime freed from prison on 8 May all 16 of Turkmenistan's known jailed conscientious objectors in a prisoner amnesty. The 16 – all of them Jehovah's Witnesses – were serving jail terms of between one and four years. They are among the very few prisoners of conscience - including political prisoners - ever to be freed in the regular prisoner amnesties. 

Every year on 15th May, the International Conscientious Objection Day, we organise solidarity with conscientious objectors (COs) and draw attention to their resistance to war. This year we have a particular focus on Turkey – working closely with the Conscientious Objection Association - Turkey (VR-DER).

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