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Turkey: The Current Situation Regarding Conscientious Objectors

Statement to the UN Human Rights Committee

(15.10.2012) Conscientious objection (CO) hasn't been accepted as a human right in Turkey. Conscientious objection is neither regulated as a right nor as an offence. This amounts to a legal ambiguity and conscientious objectors (COs) are charged with offences regulated in the Military Criminal Code, which do not correspond with their actions. Furthermore a vicious circle of being arrested, being sent to prison and released is still in force, with CO Inan SUVER as the latest example.

Bermudians Against the Draft will continue its fight in courts

(08.11.2011) Anti-conscription campaigners will continue protesting through the courts despite Premier Paula Cox’s pledge to introduce an alternative national service. Bermudians Against the Draft yesterday gave a cautious welcome to Ms Cox’s Throne Speech promise to “table legislation that makes provision for new alternatives to conscription, including the introduction of a national youth service”.

Paraguay: Law on conscientious objection as backlash

(07.07.2010) On 17 June Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo signed Law 4013 "which regulates the exercise of the right to conscientious objection to military service and establishes a substitute service to it to the benefit to the civil population" (official title of the law). With his signature, the first Paraguayan law on conscientious objection enters into force. But far from strengthening the position of conscientious objectors in Paraguay, this law has been fought by Paraguayan conscientious objectors and antimilitarists, as it limits the right to conscientious objection, and - after more than 15 years of conscientious objection without substitute service - for the first time obliges conscientious objection to perform as substitute service. In fact, strange as it may sound, the first law on conscientious objection signifies a victory of the military and the right over the conscientious objection movement and the left.

Turkey: Legal amendments for conscientious objection?

(06.10.2009) According to an article in Today’s Zaman, some legal amendments are planned in Turkey to address the issue of conscientious objection, following the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Osman Murat Ülke in January 2006. However, these amendments are far from recognising the right to conscientious objection.