(20.08.2018) At the beginning of March 2018, Ahmet Alcan declared his desertion from the Turkish army, becoming the only person to publicly announce their refusal to take part in the war in Afrin. Ahmet left the army just three days before his deployment. “Together with me two other soldiers were called up. It seems that they have to take part in the operation in Afrin. The soldiers don’t want to go but they are forced to.” Turkish authorities have announced that only professional soldiers have been deployed in Syria during the military operation, but human rights activists and other sources report that conscripts were also sent to Syria.
“All people need to have red lines beyond which we will no longer be prepared to cooperate more with the state.”
(14.08.2018) Hilel Garmi tells us how the recent protest at the Gazan border and the writings of Ahmed Abu Artema inspired him to his act of civil disobedience. He talks about the injustice of the Israeli state affecting the lives of Palestinians without granting them any right to political participation in the decision-making processes between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. For Hilel the refusal to serve in the Israeli army is a non-violent mean to emphasize the government’s lack of morality and to make the Israeli public question things they take for granted, such as the necessity and legitimacy of military actions.
(14.08.2018) Luhar Altman refused to serve in the Israeli army. In this interview she explains to the motivation behind her choice and how literature inspired her to question the structures of Israeli society. She believes that it is unjust systems that make people turn to violence and that the Israeli military maintains a vicious circle of violence. Draft refusers in Israel keep being imprisoned by the state and shamed by society for their act of civil disobedience.
South Korea: Conscientious objectors’ unending legal battle
Top court delays ruling, mulls human rights record
(22.07.2018) The Constitutional Court is poised to conclude another milestone conscientious objection case, weeks after a historic June 28 ruling where it overturned South Korea's long-standing stance to alternative military service. The top court will wrap up a class-action complaint filed in 2011 by 433 conscience objectors who claimed that they were human rights victims but that they were unable to get adequate compensation from the government because of the absence of legislation. Those who filed the complaint urged the top court to take necessary measures, so the government could compensate them and expunge their criminal records.