Finland

Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto Union of Conscientious Objectors

Country:
  • Finland
Contact details:
  • Peace Station, Veturitori, 00520 Helsinki; tel +358 9 75682444; fax 147297

Activists supported:

Risto Miinalainen in jail in Finland

Related peace activists: 

19 years old high school student Risto Miinalainen started to serve his 173 days prison sentence today 4 Oct. A group of 20 people, composed of his friends and activists of Finnish Union of Conscientious Objetors, walked with him from his school to the gates of Helsinki prison through the centre of the city today.

Risto was charged on "refusal from civilian service" (siviilipalveluksesta kieltäytyminen). He was sentenced by Eastern Uusimaa district court (Itä-Uudenmaan käräjäoikeus) on 20 April 2016. Helsinki sppeal court (Helsingin hovioikeus) refused to give him a permission to appeal on 6 July. Majority of Finnish total objectors are sentenced to home detention instead of prison, but Risto chose the prison sentence after reading about the negative experiences of some total objectors who has been sentenced to home detention.

Risto Miinalainen

Activist:
Start of detention:
  • 4 Oct 2016
End of detention:
  • 26 Mar 2017
Country:
  • Finland
Description:
  • Sentenced to 173 days in prison for refusing military service.

    Write to Risto at: Suomenlinna C 86, 00190 Helsinki

Risto Miinalainen

  • Risto MiinalainenRisto Miinalainen

Country:
  • Finland
Activist type:
  • Conscientious objector
Status:
  • Declared objector


Related articles:

Mikael Hänninen

Start of detention:
  • 7 Sep 2016
End of detention:
  • 16 Mar 2017
Country:
  • Finland
Description:
  • Mikael is a total objector who refused to do any conscription service because of his pacifist convictions. He opposes the Finnish military system which is based on a mass army created by conscription system and he sees the civilian service as punitive. Sentenced to home detention for 173 days.

    Write c/o AKL, Peace Station, Veturitori, 00520 Helsinki, Finland

Mikael Hänninen

Country:
  • Finland
Activist type:
  • Conscientious objector
Status:
  • Declared objector


Otto Absetz

Activist:
Start of detention:
  • 30 Aug 2016
End of detention:
  • 8 Dec 2016
Country:
  • Finland
Description:
  • Otto Absetz was sentenced to ”home detention” for 173 days already in March 2014. He was charged for "refusal of civilian service" (siviilipalveluksesta kieltäytyminen) and sentenced by Eastern Uusimaa district court (Itä-Uudenmaan käräjäoikeus).

    He started to serve his sentence in August 2014. However, the implementation of the sentence was interrupted by the prison authorities in November 2014 because he had ”breached the conditions of home detention”.

    A new trial was held and Otto was sentenced to serve the undone part of the sentence (99 days) in prison, which he began on 30th August 2016.

    Write to Otta at Ojoisten osasto Tampereentie 29 13600 Hämeenlinna Finland.

Release conscientious objector Otto Absetz

Activist:
Country:
  • Finland
Not sent after:
  • 5 Dec 2016
  • Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Prime Minister Juha Sipilä). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Release conscientious objector Otto Absetz

Dear Prime Minister,

I am extremely concerned to hear of the imprisonment of conscientious objector Otto Absetz, who was put in jail on 30th August 2016.

Otto Absetz was initially sentenced to ”home detention” for 173 days in March 2014. He was charged for "refusal of civilian service" (siviilipalveluksesta kieltäytyminen) and sentenced by Eastern Uusimaa district court (Itä-Uudenmaan käräjäoikeus).

FINLAND: Total objector Otto Absetz imprisoned

Activist:
Country:
  • Finland
Alert:

Finnish total objector Otto Absetz began a sentence of 99 days imprisonment on Tuesday, 30th August. Otto's refusal is based on the fact the current Finnish legislation on conscription is discriminating and puts people to different position on basis of their sex and religion.

Send a protest email to the Finnish prime minister here.

Total Objection and Alternative Service: a Finnish perspective

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Kaj Raninen has been involved in the antimilitarist movement since the beginning of the 1990s.  He is currently general secretary of the Finnish Union of Conscientious Objectors.  Ruka Toivonen, meanwhile, is a Helsinki based transgender activist and student. They study queer theory, prison systems and social history, but value their experience in radical grassroots organising as their highest and most precious education.  They have been involved in the Finnish Union of Conscientious Objectors for many years.  Here, they discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of conscientious objection campaigns that focus on total objection and alternative service. 
 
Finland still has comprehensive conscription for men.  Even though the number of people doing military service has declined and will most likely continue to do so, about two thirds of all men coming of age still go through military service (about 20,000 per year).  Women have had the option of volunteering for the army since 1994, and a few hundred enrol each year.  Approximately 7-8% of men choose an alternative, non-military service which is twice the length of the shortest period of military service (165 compared to 347 days) and the same length as the longest.

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