Conscientious objection

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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.

The Union of Conscientious Objection Finland (AKL) condemns Russia’s war in Ukraine in violation of international law. The Union is concerned that, according to several sources, Russia has used not only contract soldiers but also ordinary conscripts to attack.

There are many shortcomings in the exercise of the right to conscientious objection in Russia, and many of those ordered in the war of aggression are likely to be there against their will. Those ordered and refused military action run the risk of being prosecuted and severely punished in Russia.

On March 10th, IFOR -with a statement co-sponsored by War Resisters' International, participated in a session at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement presented at the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, addressed the issue of the right to conscientious objection to military service in the plenary.

Read the full statement below.

Dear conscientious objectors to military service, today we mark our CO day while war is being waged.

As the war with Ukraine began, the notion of refusing military service in Russia has become especially topical. Before the war, most conscripts and their relatives did not associate military service as conscripts with actual warfare. Conscription appeared to be something akin to a sports camp with elements of military training.

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