International Support of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters
Eritrea: Rights Abuses Continue Unabated
(12.03.2018) Repeated Human Rights Council resolutions have condemned “in the strongest terms” the “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations” by the Eritrean government. The Council has condemned violations including arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence, religious oppression, denials of the rights of free expression and peaceful assembly. The Council has also expressed grave concern over the unlimited conscription of Eritrea’s citizens and the use of conscripts in forced labor.
Stop the renewed trial! Demand with us the immediate confirmation of Ruslan Kotsaba’s initial acquittal!
(12.02.2018) Journalist and conscientious objector Ruslan Kotsaba stands trial again in Dolyna on 19 February 2018. He is known for his pacifist appeals against the war in Eastern Ukraine. He also called for a boycott of illegal mobilisation for the so called 'anti-terrorist operation' in Ukraine.
Ruslan Kotsaba was arrested in February 2015 and was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment for obstruction of the Ukrainian armed forces. After only 524 days of pretrial detention he was released by the court of appeal in July 2016.
The country's High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases decided on 1 June 2017 that the case would have to be reopened. The first court in charge in Bohorodchany declared itself to be biased, probably because of international pressure. Now the court in Dolyna is in charge of the case.
Send a protest fax to the court and a solidarity letter to Ruslan Kotsaba here.
Israel Appeals Tribunal Rules: Desertion from the Eritrean Military is a Valid Claim for Asylum
(15.02.2018) Following an appeal by the Clinic for Refugee Rights in Tel Aviv University, the Appeals Tribunal has ruled today that the appellant, an Eritrean national who had fled the Eritrean Military, has proven that: “There is a well-founded fear of persecution from the authorities of his home country due to a political opinion attributed to him as a result of his fleeing military service.”
In late 2008, Army Specialist André Shepherd filed an application for political asylum in Germany.
The European Court of justice published a preliminary ruling in February 2015. In November the Munich Administrative Court rejected U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd's application for political asylum. "The conduct of the proceedings was marked by prejudice," said Rudi Friedrich of Connection e.V. "As an observer, one could not avoid the impression that the decision was fixed in advance, and the panel of judges wanted to regard the decision and André Shepherd's application for asylum entirely separately from the reality of the war in Iraq." (...more)
André Shepherd is going to appeal against this decision.
39-year-old André Shepherd was deployed to Iraq for six months as an Apache helicopter mechanic. After returning on leave to his unit stationed in Katterbach, Bavaria, he seriously deliberated the effects of U.S. military action on the civilian population in Iraq. After some time, he decided to go AWOL, and then seek refuge in Germany. He based his application for political asylum on the European Union Qualification Directive, which is intended to protect those who refuse to participate in a war or other activities that violate international law, and who may expect persecution as a consequence.