Conscientious Objection 

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Rally to conscientious objection in Seoul

South Korea: Conscientious objectors wait for alternative service as legislators remain idle

(23.09.2019) The military conscription system in South Korea has been in place for decades. Conscientious objectors’ fight against the system that criminalized them lasted nearly as long, and they chose to go to jail rather than serve in the military because their faith forbids bearing arms. Their decades long struggle came to an end in June 2018, when the country’s Constitutional Court made a landmark ruling that would lift the stamp of “guilt” from thousands of conscientious objectors. 

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Israel: A conscientious objector was released - another was imprisoned

(25.08.2019) After twenty five days of imprisonment the IDF’s Conscience Committee granted conscientious objector Maya Brand-Feigenbaum a release from military service. "I believe that refusing to serve in the military is the best and most effective way for me to promote anti-war principles and contribute to ending the occupation", she said.

Concurrently, Yasmin Ricci-Yahav, age 18 from Mevasseret Zion, declared her refusal to enlist for the first time at the IDF recruitment office and was sentenced to ten days of imprisonment which she will serve in Prison 6. “I hope my decision will contribute, in however small a way, to a gradual change of consciousness. And that this change will lead in turn to a search for a solution based on justice and equality for Israelis and Palestinians,” she wrote in her refusal declaration.

Military Parade, Photo: Kerri-Jo Stewart

Turkmenistan: Conscientious objector jailed for four years

(23.07.2019) In the third jailing of a conscientious objector in 2019, 19-year-old Jehovah’s Witness Bahtiyar Atahanov was jailed for four years. This is the longest jail term known to have been handed to a conscientious objector, because the authorities deemed him a soldier after forcibly conscripting him.

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Turkmenistan: Second 2019 conscientious objector jailing

(03.06.2019) Another conscientious objector to Turkmenistan’s compulsory military service has been jailed. A court in the south-eastern town of Bayramaly sentenced 23-year-old Muhammetali Saparmyradov to one year’s imprisonment in March. He has since joined 11 other jailed conscientious objectors in the labour camp in Seydi in eastern Turkmenistan. All are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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