Conscientious objection

Stop the Military Education: A statement of support for the CO Kamal El-ghety

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No to Compulsory Military Service Movement supports the Conscientious Objector Kamal El-ghety in his request to be excepted from the compulsory Military Education subject. The universities organization law requires every Egyptian male student to attend a subject on Military Education in order to get his graduation certificate.

Kamal has submitted a written request addressed to Cairo University dean Mr. Gaber Gad Nassar asking him to exclude the former from attending the Military Education subject. The subject contradicts with his pacifist beliefs, and his discomfort with being used as a tool in armed conflicts. The subject promotes for values such as blind disobedience making it a crime to reject any order as well as it discriminates between Egyptians on terms of their gender, according to El-ghety. Forcing El-ghety to attend the subject is a blatant violation of the international law, and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights in particular that bans any “coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.” Cairo University has rejected El-ghety’s request.

Conscientious objectors freed

On 14th July, conscientious objectors Tair Kaminer and Ruslan Kotsaba – in Ukraine and Israel respectively - were released. Journalist and draft refuser Ruslan Kotsaba was freed on appeal, after initially being charged with treason. The judge found that there was no evidence to condemn him, and ordered his immediate release from custody. In Israel, refuser Tair Kaminer was exempted from the army for 'bad behaviour'. She had spent over 150 days in prison for her refusal. CO Omri Baranes is still going through the process of being repeatedly called up, imprisoned, released and called up. Sign up to support her, and other COs, here. Refusing to kill is not a crime.


Let’s Resist the Spiral of Violence and Militarist Imposition

Statement from War Resisters' International's affiliate in Turkey, Vicdani Ret Derneği (the conscientious objection association)


Military coups have brought along human rights violations in every location they have taken place. In every place where the army has taken control by force, the violence has been further institutionalized and the societies who witness the coups have been stuck in spirals of violence. The process we have been living since July 15 night is making us experience a variety of this spiral of violence. On one side military coup scenarios are being put into practice by “Peace at Home Council”, on the other side AKP government’s so called “democratic moves” are on the agenda.

The Ruslan Kotsaba story

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UPDATE: on 14 July Ruslan was released on appeal, the judge finding that there was insufficient evidence to support the charge of treason. Read the news here.

Ukrainian court of appeal acquits journalist sentenced for high treason

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Ukrainian court of appeal acquits journalist sentenced for high treason

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Conscientious objector and journalist sentenced to 3½ years in jail

#refuse2occupy: solidarity for imprisoned conscientious objectors in Israel

#refuse2occupy#refuse2occupyIn Israel, Omri Barnes and Tair Kaminer have been imprisoned again because they #refuse2occupy and refuse to serve the army. Tair, starting her 6th term of 45 days in prison said "As long as the violent military way holds sway, we will simply have further generations growing up with a heritage of hate, which will only make things even worse. We must stop this - now!". Omri, returning now to prison for the third time for a term of 30 days says "The military creates a circle of violence while claiming to defend the country. I believe that a person has a responsibility towards certain humanistic values, which lie beyond his/hers political and social framework, which is why I refuse to enlist." Their support group Mersavot is calling people around the world to support them, by posting your own picture a with a message to Tair and Omri and use the hashtag #refuse2occupy.

#COday 2016: actions around the world to celebrate conscientious objection to militarism

Photo: Ruth Davey/www.look-again.orgPhoto: Ruth Davey/

I spent the weekend in the good company of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), a European umbrella organisation campaigning for the rights of conscientious objectors. In their 30+ year history, EBCO have never before met in Britain. They chose to on this occasion at the invitation of the First World War Peace Forum, a group of British peace groups working to give an alternative, antimiltiarist view of the centenary memorials to the first World War, which in Britain have been an excuse for nationalism and militarism.

VR-DER was in Amed on International Conscientious Objection day

14 May panel14 May panel

On May 14 and 15, the event titled "We Will Not Let Amed Turn Into Garrison Town" that we as Conscientious Objection Association (COA) together with Tahir Elçi City Forest Coordination have organized ended in 15th May.

Ukraine: Journalist und Kriegsdienstverweigerer heute zu 3,5 Jahren Haft verurteilt

Veranstaltungsreihe mit seiner Ehefrau Uliana Kotsaba startet am 30. Mai

Der Journalist und Kriegsdienstverweigerer Ruslan Kotsaba wurde heute wegen Behinderung der Tätigkeit der Streitkräfte zu einer Haftstrafe von 3,5 Jahren verurteilt. "Es ist erschreckend, in welcher Weise die ukrainische Regierung gegen Kritiker ihres Kriegskurses vorgehen", so in einer ersten Reaktion Rudi Friedrich für Connection e.V. "Hier wurde an einem Journalisten und Kriegsdienstverweigerer ein Exempel statuiert, der weder für die Separatisten noch für die ukrainische Regierung Partei ergreift, sondern zum Ende des Krieges und zu Verhandlungen aufruft." Ruslan Kotsaba wird gegen das Urteil Berufung einlegen.

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