Conscientious objection

en

On 7 February, Yerevan's Criminal Court of Appeal rejected 20-year-old Baptist conscientious objector Davit Nazaretyan's appeal against a two-year jail term imposed in October 2023 for refusing military service. The judges ignored European Court of Human Rights judgments, including against Armenia. Nazaretyan's applications for alternative civilian service were repeatedly denied. He is considering a further appeal and will not be required to go to jail until any further appeal is heard. The last known jailed conscientious objector was freed in 2021.

Yesterday, the Ukrainian parliament passed a draft amendment to the law on military service in its first reading that will change recruitment practices in the country. Connection e.V. and DFG-VK oppose this tightening and call on the Ukrainian government and the European Union to ensure the protection of conscientious objectors.

On Thursday (1st February), conscientious objector Halil Karapaşoğlu from North Cyprus (self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) was on trial at the Security Forces Court in the northern part of Nicosia for his refusal to respond to the reserve call. Halil's case has been postponed to 14th March, 2024.

EBCO, WRI, IFOR, and Connection e.V. denounce the continuing prosecutions and imprisonments of conscientious objectors in the northern, Turkish-occupied, part of Cyprus (the self-styled “Turkish Republic of North Cyprus”). The right to conscientious objection to military service should be urgently recognised in line with the European and international law and human rights standards.

On Tuesday, 23rd January, conscientious objector Tal Mitnick, 18, from Israel was imprisoned again for his refusal to serve in the military. This is Tal’s second imprisonment and he was sentenced to 30 more days in military prison. He will have spent 60 days behind bars in total upon completion of his second term in prison.

On December 26th, Tal Mitnick, an 18-year-old from Tel Aviv, became the first Israeli conscientious objector imprisoned for their refusal to serve in the army since the start of the war in Gaza. Mitnick declared his conscientious objection at the Tel Hashomer recruitment center and subsequently received a 30-day sentence in military prison.

A report by Human Rights Watch revealed Russian authorities' ongoing conscription and forced enlistment of Ukrainian civilians, including those in detention, in occupied areas into the Russian military, Human Rights Watch. This practice, compelling Ukrainian residents in occupied areas to join the Russian armed forces, unequivocally constitutes a war crime.

Subscribe to Conscientious objection