Prisoners for Peace

1st December is Prisoners for Peace Day. For over 60 years, War Resisters' International have, on this day, made known the names and stories of those imprisoned because of their actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war.

This day is a chance for you to demonstrate your support for those individuals and their movements, by writing to those whose freedom has been taken away from them because of their work for peace.

WRI has a permanent Prisoners for Peace list, which we make a special effort to update for Prisoners for Peace Day on December 1st.

As well as being Prisoners for Peace Day, 1 December is now World AIDS Awareness Day. Insumisión Rosa (Pink Resistance), the gay group in MOC-Madrid, hand out the following text:

Since objectors have been going to prison, we have denounced the treatment of people deprived of their liberty and of prison rules which block the flee circulation of syringes and condoms.

The Prisoners for Peace honour roll cannot include all the nonviolent social activists imprisoned in the pursuit of peace, freedom, and justice. Every year, however, WRI highlights one such struggle-this year, the focus is on nonviolent civil resistance to military rule in Nigeria.


When news of the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists spread to the world's press on Saturday 11 November, almost everybody shook their head in disbelief.

AUSTRIA The defence ministry has been conscripting Jehovah's Witnesses since 1 April 1994. Last year over 35 religious objectors spent between 6 days and 6 1/2 months in jail. There are currently 3 Jehovah's Witnesses in prison. COLOMBIA

Luis Gabriel Caldas León
Carrera 34A este
#91A-39 Sur
(in 06/95 - out 02/96)
Jailed for desertion despite never having joined the armed forces.


There are over 100 COs sentenced to prison in southern Cyprus every year, all of them Jehovah's Witnesses. At least nine COs are facing trial at the end of November and might be imprisoned. One of them, with very poor eye-sight and a heart condition, is 53 years old. Many COs face repeated sentences, as they continue to refuse conscription once they are released. (Under a law introduced in January 1992, COs have the alternatives of 34 months unarmed service in a military camp, or 42 months civilian service.

Every December, War Resisters' International invites sympathisers to send greeting cards to prisoners for peace. This Honour Roll includes imprisoned conscientious objectors and nonviolent activists who have tried to obstruct war preparations. Each year, we also focus on one of the nonviolent struggles around the world: this year it is in Tibet.

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