Dear readers of CO-Update.

Welcome to the first issue of CO-Update of 2011 - War Resisters' International hopes that 2011 will be more peaceful than 2010, and that we will make progress on the issue of recognition of the right to conscientious objection.

The not so new good news for the beginning of the year is that Germany is suspending conscription (and substitute service) from 1 July 2011 on. However, the rest of the news in the first issue of 2011 is less positive: we report on conscientious objectors going to prison (or facing prison) in South Korea, and about the rejection of conscientious objection in Britain. All this shows that support for conscientious objectors will also be important in 2011.

That support can make a difference shows the case of Egyptian conscientious objector Maikel Nabil (see CO-Update No 61, Nov/Dec 2010). Although he was briefly arrested by the military police, he was released quickly, and was deemed unfit for military service. While this is not a recognition of the right to conscientious objection, it at least means no imprisonment, and no more suffering for conscientious objector Maikel Nabil.
To continue to do this work War Resisters' International depends on your donations. We therefore kindly ask you to donate to WRI online at wri-irg.org/en/donate-en.htm.

Andreas Speck