Statement of conscientious objectors’ groups from eastern Mediterranean region

We are conscientious objectors from all around the eastern Mediterranean region. Our region has suffered for so long from oppression, injustice, militarisation, military occupations and wars, as well as poverty, illiteracy, hunger and lack of social infrastructure. In this difficult period, when our region seems to fall even more into the chaos of war, we raise a common voice for peace and against militarisation.

The horrible attacks on Brussels affect us all. Our heart is with you

Declaration Against War of VR-DER - Conscientious Objection Association, Turkey

"VR-DER: Leave Your Units, Refuse The War"

Although nobody remembers in today’s war conditions, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there had been a state of cease fire between the state and PKK, which started in the Newroz of 2013 and lasted for more than two years. After a period of clashes, while Erdogan was talking in public meetings before the 2015 June elections, saying “Give us the 400 (seats), (so that) the issue is settled peacefully” as the head of state; HDP election campaign had the slogan “we will not let you become the president”.

VR-DER: Birliklerinizi Terk Edin, Savaşı Reddedin

İçinde bulunduğumuz savaş koşullarında artık kimse hatırlamıyor olsa dahi, devlet ile PKK arasında 2013 yılı Newroz’unda başlayan ve yaklaşık 2 yıldan uzun süren bir çatışmasızlık halinin yaşandığını unutmamak gerekir.

Nuri Silay - Conscientious Objection Declared in Cyprus (28 January 2016)

Declaration written by Nuri Sılay who is the 17th conscientious objector so far in Cyprus-north.

My Conscientious Objection

As an individual of 32 years of age, I lead my life taking responsibility for all my decisions. Such a conception of life, though, places on us certain conscientious duties; I draw up the following text in an attempt to share with you my new duty.

Israeli Conscientious Objector Tair Kaminer goes to jail

Israeli Conscientious Objector Tair Kaminer goes to jail
Observing the situation of CO in the Mediterranean region EBCO forwards the following information received from easternmednetwork:

For more information please visit War Resisters International website

No to Equality in militarism

Statement of the feminist collective TO MOV (Greece) co-signed by the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors
At a time when the democratic demand is the abolition of compulsory miliraty service, the ministry of Defense, on the contrary, seems to wish the extention of this service to women.

Stop the mockery against conscientious objectors! We demand full respect for our human rights!

Press Release of the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors
Each new government usually spends some minimum time during the first year of its term to settle some minimum issues relating to compulsory military service and the issue of conscientious objectors. We have experienced this repeatedly.

Memorandum to the Parliamentary Permanent Committee of National Defence and Foreign Affairs

The draft law which is currently under discussion, and article 12 in specific, fails to end the human rights violations and the injustice suffered by conscientious objectors for decades. In order to restore the rights of conscientious objectors and bring the Greek legislation in line with international law and international standards, but also in order to be able to offer to the society, we, conscientious objectors demand the following:

EBCO's wishes for a Peaceful 2016

Support Ruslan Kotsaba (12/2015)

Journalist Ruslan Kotsaba was arrested on 8 February 2015 in the courtroom of his home town Iwano-Frankiwsk (Western Ukraine). Shortly before he had declared in a video message to President Petro Poroschenko his refusal to be drafted and that he would rather endure 5 years in prison than shoot at his „fellow citizens living in the East“. He called upon his compatriots to refuse military service, too. The German newspaper „tageszeitung“ (taz) reported on 9 February 2015: „Kotsaba supported Maidan in 2014 as an activist. In the Presidential l elections he voted for President Poroschenko.

EBCO Annual Report “Conscientious objection to military service in Europe 2015”

Foreword by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President (download report)

In September 2014 Heiner Bielefeldt, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, speaking at a side event to the Human Rights Council, observed: “Conscientious objection to military service is a specific issue, but not a side issue!”.

PRESS RELEASE: A sad continuity of problems

Brussels, 10 December 2015

On International Human Rights Day the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) publishes its new  Annual Report “Conscientious objection to military service in Europe 2015”.    

Greece: Repeal the conviction of conscientious objector Anastasios Batas

Brussels, 2 November 2015

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) condemns once again the unacceptable practice of the Greek authorities to target and prosecute conscientious objectors. EBCO demands the repeal of the conviction of conscientious objector Anastasios Batas, member of the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors, who is on trial tomorrow before the Appeal Military Court of Athens.

Ελλαδα: Να αναιρεθει η καταδικη του Προεδρου του Συνδεσμου Αντιρρησιων Συνειδησης Γιαννη Γκλαρνετατζη

Βρυξέλλες, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2015

Το Ευρωπαϊκό Γραφείο για την Αντίρρηση Συνείδησης (EBCO) καταδικάζει για άλλη μια φορά την απαράδεκτη πρακτική των ελληνικών αρχών να στοχοποιούν και να διώκουν αντιρρησίες συνείδησης. Το EBCO ζητά την αναίρεση της καταδίκης του Προέδρου του Συνδέσμου Αντιρρησιών Συνείδησης Γιάννη Γκλαρνέτατζη, ο οποίος δικάζεται αύριο από το Αναθεωρητικό Στρατοδικείο Θεσσαλονίκης.

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