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consciencious objectors

    July 04, 2016

    Jim Joyce: AICS(ES) Coordinator for Israel, OPT, Palestine

    “This state, this country, this society, are too important for me to be silent. I wish my refusal, even if I pay a personal price for it, will help bring the occupation to the Israel public discourse.”

    These are the words of 19 year old Conscientious objector (CO), Tair Kaminer, an Israeli from Tel Aviv who was given her sixth and longest prison sentence [forty-five days] on 19 June 2016 for refusing to serve in the Israeli army. She objects to her military service call-up because she does not wish to participate in the commission of human rights violations against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    Israel’s practice is to sentence a conscientious objector to a short period of detention usually twenty or -twenty five days. Upon its end, the call up is renewed, and if refused, another period of detention is ordered by the military judge. Israel has never granted a CO a hearing on the grounds for the objection to military service.

    May 13, 2016

    Guest Blogger: Michelle Robidoux from the War Resisters Support Campaign

    Twelve years ago this month, a campaign was launched in Canada to assist U.S. conscientious objectors to the Iraq War in gaining asylum here. Canadians massively rejected the war, and in 2003, the Canadian government made the decision not to participate in it. The many thousands of Vietnam War resisters – both deserters and draft resisters – who were welcomed to Canada 40 years earlier were concrete evidence of Canadians' support for freedom of conscience.

    But unlike their predecessors, the Iraq War resisters experienced systematic obstacles to being allowed to stay. Between 2008 and 2012, three of these conscientious objectors were deported by the Canadian government to the United States, where they were arrested, court-martialed and jailed. Each of them was harshly punished, with jail terms of 12 to 15 months and felony convictions.

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