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The Movement of Conscientious Objectors

Digest April 2024


(04.06.2024) My dears, hello to everyone!
April was marked by the beginning of another conscription campaign in Russia and reforms of the military enlistment system in Moscow. The Russian government promised and finally adopted the latest regulatory act on the electronic registry of military service and electronic summons: with all these rules, we are facing a rather difficult end of the year. In Armenia, there was the second abduction of a Russian serviceman in five months. We believe
that it was carried out by the Russian military police and we are actively monitoring
the situation. And our organisation, together with colleagues from Ukraine and Belarus,
was awarded the Peace Prize by IPB! Enjoy reading!

EBCO, WRI, IFOR & Connection e.V.

Russia: Stop the raids and detention of conscripts in Moscow

Joint Press Release

(03.06.2024) The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), War Resisters’ International (WRI), the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), and Connection e.V. strongly condemn the raids, detentions and practices of forced recruitment carried out by the Russian authorities from 25th to 27th May in Moscow. We urge the Russian authorities to fully respect the human right to conscientious objection to military service, which is inherent in the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, guaranteed under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and so is non-derogable even in a time of public emergency, as stated in Article 4(2) of ICCPR.

A Right to Refuse to Kill in Myanmar?

(20.03.2024) In February 2024, the military regime ruling Myanmar announced that it was mobilizing a “People’s Military Service Law”. The law allows for the conscription of male citizens aged 18 to 35 and female citizens aged 18 to 27. The announcement has caused fear and loathing among the country’s 14 million young people and their families. Just three days later, the military regime established the Central Body for Summoning People’s Military Servants to oversee conscription, of at least 60,000 young people per year (See this ISP report for a further analysis of the new conscription law). The conscription process will reportedly be launched after the Burmese New Year in mid-April, but there are some reports that roundups of young men have already begun.

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Russia – No legal provision for alternative civilian service during mobilisation

(19.12.2022) In Zeiten der Mobilisierung gibt es keine rechtlichen oder praktischen Regelungen für den Alternativen Dienst, obwohl die Verfassung dieses Recht allen Bürgern garantiert. Das hat dazu geführt, dass die Rekrutierungsbüros Anträge auf Alternativen Dienst ablehnen und Kriegsdienstverweigerer zu Militäreinheiten schicken. Darüber hinaus ermöglicht eine Gesetzesänderung vom November 2022, dass Personen, die sich bereits im Alternativen Dienst befinden, innerhalb der Streitkräfte in einem unbewaffneten Dienst eingesetzt werden können. „Mit dieser Gesetzesänderung wird der Alternative Dienst als Alternative zum Militärdienst während einer Mobilisierung faktisch abgeschafft“, so die Anwältin Valeriya Vetoshkina.

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