Prosecution 

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Trial of a Draft Dodger: The “Lida Precedent”

(17.07.2023) On July 6, 2023, in Lida (Grodno region), a 28-year-old man was sentenced to one and a half years of imprisonment for draft evasion. This may seem to be nonsense because in Belarus, individuals can only be called for compulsory military service until the age of 27.

Turkey: April-July 2023 Conscientious Objection Bulletin Released

(July 2023) In this issue of the Conscientious Objection Watch Bulletin, you can find data on the activities of Conscientious Objection Watch in April-July 2023, the restrictions and rights violations experienced by conscientious objectors in Turkey.

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Turkey: Clear call from the Council of Europe for recognition of conscientious objection

(26.06.2023) 17 years after the first ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in favor of a Turkish conscientious objector, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe now took a surprisingly straightforward stance (H46-36 Ülke group v. Turkey). It strongly urged the Turkish authorities to provide an “action plan” that includes concrete proposals for legislative amendments to address the Court’s findings in this group as well as political and practical measures regarding the recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service. At the same time, the Committee of Ministers announced that otherwise, it would adopt a resolution for an interim solution in a year’s time.

Russia: Surge in Criminal Investigations Against Military Objectors

(June 2023) In the first half of 2023, Russian military courts have received 2,076 criminal cases concerning unauthorized absence from military service, as per Article 337 of the Russian Criminal Code. This number is twice as high as the total cases for the entire year of 2022 and three times higher than the pre-war year of 2021. The majority of the accused are not contract soldiers but those who have been mobilized. Courts are now issuing around 100 verdicts per week, and this number is on the rise.