Right to Refuse to Kill

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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.

We are pleased to announce the conference “Conscientious Objection in Asia”, which will be held on 18th to 20th November in Seoul, South Korea. The event will gather conscientious objectors (COs) and campaigners of conscientious objection (CO) from across Asia to discuss the problems COs are facing today and how to counter these problems. The event is organised by World Without War in cooperation with Connection e.V. and War Resisters’ International.

EBCO, WRI, IFOR and Connection e.V. strongly condemn the fact that Yurii Sheliazhenko, Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, has been formally charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of “justification of Russian aggression” with sole “evidence” the Statement of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, adopted at the meeting on International Day of Peace 21 September 2022, entitled “Peace Agenda for Ukraine and the World”.

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.

On 8 June, Azerbaijan's Supreme Court rejected Jehovah's Witness Seymur Mammadov's final appeal against his conviction for refusing compulsory military service on grounds of conscience. Initially jailed, he is now halfway through a one-year suspended sentence. He is considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which found in favour of seven conscientious objectors jailed or given suspended sentences earlier. The ECtHR judgments "called for legislative action on civilian service as an alternative to military service".

Almost 90 anti-war initiatives, including War Resisters' International, have appealed to the European Parliament and the member states of the European Union to protect Russian conscientious objectors, deserters and those who surrendered or were captured. Read the appeal below.

CONSCIENCE AND PEACE TAX INTERNATIONAL

ORAL STATEMENT

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL,  53nd SESSION

ITEM 4:  INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON  BELARUS

5th July, 2023

Delivered by Derek BRETT                                     Contact:

                                                                                    Derek BRETT

                                                                                    Main Representative to the UN, Geneva

On 4th July, European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and War Resisters' International (WRI) have made an urgent appeal to the Lithuanian immigration authorities regarding the case of  Ivan Strashkevich, a conscientious objector from Belarus who is currently seeking asylum in Lithuania.

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