Rally in Seoul, December 2015

South Korea: No right to conscientious objection

New published

Action in Seoul December 1, 2015

South Korea: Stop the imprisonment of conscientious objectors!

Action in Berlin on behalf of the International Day of Conscientious Objection

We invite to a campaign on the international day of conscientious objection

15th of May 2018, 16.00-18.00

In front of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea

Stülerstr. 10, 10787 Berlin

 

Korea is a divided nation. The tensions with North Korea, ever since the end of the Korean War 1953, are the reason for high militarization in South Korea. The country has a population of 50 million people and an army that consists of 650.000 men and women, which is the fifth biggest army in the world. At the same time, South Korea is an economic power in East Asia and an ally of the USA. All men are liable to military service and have to serve between 21 and 24 months. Anyone who goes against this has to pay a high price.

Currently, about 300 conscientious objectors in South Korea are in custody. Generally, they are convicted for up to 18 months. Since several years, the organization World Without War campaigns to put an end to the prosecution in South Korea and to acknowledge the human right to conscientious objection, until now with no success.

Multiple cases of conscientious objectors are pending at the constitutional court because the judges refuse to convict them. The Korean human rights commission sees the conscientious objection as a general human right. Even the president; Moon Jae-in, promised to find a solution during his election campaign.

Therefore, we want to support the conscientious objectors in South Korea with an extraordinary campaign on the international day of conscientious objection and demand their immediate release and to accept their conscientious objection.

Press Release

Ruslan Kotsaba

Ukraine: Solidarity with Ruslan Kotsaba!

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.

Update 20 February 2018: The court sent the charges to the public prosecutor in Ivano-Frankivsk on application of Ruslan's lawyer. The indictment has not yet met the rules of the code of criminal procedure, so we await the continuance of the proceedings. Ruslan Kotsaba is still free and awaiting the upcoming proceedings. He is thankful for the international support.We will keep you updated.

From our Projects

Rallye in Frankfurt/Main

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. 

Actions and Events

André Shepherd

AWOL US soldier André Shepherd needs asylum

Solidarity eMail, donations

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.