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Ukraine: Draft evasion and desertion, and the consequences under criminal law

(18.11.2017) It is estimated that hundreds of thousands have refused to be called up, are still living in Ukraine or have fled to neighbouring countries. Desertion and avoiding conscription can attract prison sentences of up to three years according to Articles 335 and 336 of the Criminal Code.

The right to conscientious objection under Ukrainian law

(18.11.2017) Article 35.3 of Ukraine’s 1996 constitution confers the right to refuse military service: "If performance of military service is contrary to the religious beliefs of a citizen, the performance of this duty shall be replaced by alternative (non-military) duty". This right is fleshed out in greater detail in Article 2 of the Ukrainian Act on Alternative Civilian Service, which states that this right may only be asserted by individuals who are members of religious organisations which conform to the legislation, and whose confessional beliefs do not allow them to use arms and serve in the military forces. This list of religious organisations includes Adventists, Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Pentecostal movement. Applications must be submitted together with an official letter from the religious organisation in question.

Vigil in Halle, October 25, 2017

"What a good morning! Peter, Ali and all the rest of the Istanbul10 have been released"

Campaign Newsletter Nr. 7

(26.10.2017) Dear friends of the Istanbul10,

what a good morning! Peter, Ali and all the rest of the Istanbul10 have been released. Late last night the court decided to end their pre-trial detention. Peter and Ali are allowed to leave the country today and to be united again with their dearest. The trial is supposed to be continued. The charges have not been dropped, they have not been declared innocent. But we are very relieved that they are all free and don’t have to stay in prison anymore.

Sheila B. Keetharuth speaking at the conference on Eritrea

UN Special Rapporteur emphasises the gravity of human rights violations in Eritrea

A packed international conference took place in Brussels

(23.10.2017) There are “reasonable grounds to believe crimes against humanity are taking place”, stated Sheila Keetharuth, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, at a major high-ranking international staffed conference held in Brussels this week. The dire human rights situation in the Horn of Africa nation— including arbitrary detention and extrajudicial executions—has “not improved in essentials”, she emphasised, despite consistent attention in recent years from the UN and human rights agencies.