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South Korea: Statement to the Ruling of the Constitution Court

Welcoming the Decision Recognizing Conscientious Objection

(28.06.2018) Today, the Constitutional Court of Republic of Korea ruled that Article 5(1) of the Military Service Act (hereafter "MSA") does not conform with the Constitution of Republic of Korea as it fails to provide alternative service for conscientious objectors as a type of military service, while setting a time limit for the continued application of the provision until December 31th, 2019. The Court's decision against the legislative inaction implies that it is unconstitutional to not enact relevant law required by the Constitution. In today's decision, the Court recognized conscientious objection as the exercise of the right to "freedom of conscience" which is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution and pointed out that Article 5(1) of the MSA is unconstitutional on account that it did not offer an alternative service for conscientious objectors who have been subjected to criminalization.

Merve Arkun

Turkey: Investigation against Conscientious Objection Association Co-chair, Merve Arkun

(14.06.2018) The Office of the Chief Prosecution in Diyarbakir, Turkey, has opened an investigation against the co-chair of the Conscientious Objection Association (Turkey), Merve Arkun. The Association has reported that the investigation is due to a press conference they organised two years ago on International Conscientious Objectors Day.

South Korea: To make the most of the opportunity for peace, the right to conscientious objection must be recognised!

(14.05.2018) Recognizing the right to conscientious objection to military service does not only involve guaranteeing objectors the freedom of conscience, thought, and religion. In addition, overcoming deep-rooted violence and militarism will be possible only when we acknowledge this right to object. In order for Korea to make the most of the precious opportunities of peace that have come in seventy years and to become a country of permanent peace, the right to conscientious objection must be recognized.

Culture of war in Istanbul Metro

A visit to Turkey at a time of oppression and war

(02.04.2018) At first sight, not much in Istanbul shows that the country is at war. The queues of tourists at passport control are long. Everything is running as normal. Main shopping roads like İstiklal are full of people. But we can say that the sustained deterioration of the human rights situation is really horrifying. Since Turkey's operation in the north of Syria started, it is very difficult for activists in Turkey to even use terms like “peace”, to criticise the war in Afrin or to demand the return of a peace process with the Kurdish population.