Draft Evasion 

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Syria: ECJ strengthen conscientious objectors in asylum cases

(19.11.2020) The European Court of Justice decided, that in the context of the civil war in Syria, there is a strong presumption that refusal to perform military service there is connected to a reason which may give rise to entitlement to recognition as a refugee

In a number of situations, such refusal is an expression of political opinions or of religious beliefs, or is motivated by membership of a particular social group.

Myrat Orazgeldiyev

Turkmenistan: 24th conscientious objector jailed since 2018

(11.09.2020) A court in Mary Region jailed 18-year-old Myrat Orazgeldiyev for one year on 3 September, the 24th Jehovah’s Witness conscientious objector to military service to be imprisoned since January 2018. Eleven – including Orazgeldiyev – are now jailed, eight of them at the harsh Seydi Labour Camp, where a former prisoner of conscience described conditions as "inhuman". All 24 young men offered to do an alternative civilian service, but none exists.

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Sweden hands out first jail terms for draft evasion since return of conscription

(04.04.2019) Three young Swedes have been sentenced to prison this year for refusing to start or complete their national service. The men, one of whom never turned up at his regiment and two of whom deserted, are the first to be jailed for evading military conscription since Sweden reinstated national service.

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Action in Diyarbakır, May 15, 2016. Photo: VR-DER

Silent/Invisible Resistance to Turkish Military

(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.