Payday has joined international initiatives to support the hundreds of thousands refuseniks from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine who have refused to join a war that has brought misery and that only benefited the rich and powerful in these countries. Read the press release from four international organisations issued on International Day of Peace and a Call for action issued by 30 organisations, including Connection e.V. and War Resisters International.
International Day of Peace: Stop the war! Mobilise for peace!
by EBCO, IFOR, WRI and Connection e.V.
(21.09.2023) On the International Day of Peace, September 21st 2023, War Resisters’ International (WRI), the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), International Fellowship of Reconciliation and Connection e.V. (Germany) urge the involved countries in the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine to mobilise for peace instead of war, and the EU and the international community to invest in diplomacy and negotiations instead of weapons and militarism.
WRI, EBCO, IFOR and Connection e.V. call Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to safeguard the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as the right to freedom of expression, fully complying with the European and international standards, amongst others the standards set by the European Court of Human Rights. The right to conscientious objection to military service is inherent in the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, guaranteed under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which is non-derogable even in a time of public emergency, as stated in Article 4(2) of ICCPR.
The four organisations support:
• the #ObjectWarCampaign: Protection and asylum for all deserters and conscientious objectors to military service from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine.
• the appeal to the European Commission and the European Parliament about necessary measures for the international protection of Russian conscientious objectors, deserters and those who surrendered or were captured.
• the campaign to drop all charges against Yurii Sheliazhenko, Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, who is under partial house arrest since August 15th 2023, and his next court hearing is on October 3rd 2023.
• the #protection4olga campaign: Protection and asylum for Olga Karatch, director of the Belarusian organisation “Our House” in Lithuania, whose application for political asylum was rejected by the Lithuanian authorities on August 18th 2023.
• the IPB intention to nominate three remarkable organizations with a focus on the right to conscientious objection for the 2024 Nobel Peace Prize; the Russian Movement of Conscientious Objectors, the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, and the Belarusian Our House, in recognition of their great work, their tangible contribution to peace and their considerable stigmatisation as defenders of peace, conscientious objection and human rights, especially after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
FOR INTERVIEWS please contact:
• Semih Sapmaz, War Resisters’ International (WRI), semih(at)wri-irg.org, www.wri-irg.org
• Alexia Tsouni, European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), ebco(at)ebco-beoc.org, www.ebco-beoc.org
• Rudi Friedrich, Connection e.V., office(at)Connection-eV.org, www.Connection-eV.org
Christian Renoux (French, English), International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), office(at)ifor.org, www.ifor.org
• Maria Alexandrova, Russian Movement of Conscientious Objectors, community(at)stoparmy.org, https://stoparmy.org/en
• Yurii Sheliazhenko, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, yuriy.sheliazhenko(at)gmail.com, http://pacifism.org.ua/
• Olga Karatch, Belarusian Our House, ask(at)news.house, https://news.house/
More than 30 organisations call for a week of action on 10 December 2023
Protection and asylum for conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine
(22.09.2023) Concerning 10 December 2023, International Human Rights Day, more than 30 organisations from Europe are calling for weeks of action for protection for all those who refuse military service in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The call states:
War is a crime against humanity. We condemn Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine, which is contrary to international law and has already led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries and millions of refugees.
Many people from Russia and Belarus, but also from Ukraine, who are threatened with military service, try to evade that war: They do not want to kill other people and they do not want to die in this war. Soldiers at the front want to lay down their weapons in the face of the horror. They all face repression and imprisonment, in Belarus even the death penalty. But: Conscientious objection is an internationally recognized human right!
- We demand from the governments of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine: Stop the persecution of conscientious objectors and deserters immediately!
- We demand from the EU: Open the borders! Give opponents of war the option to enter the European Union! Protect conscientious objectors and deserters from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and give them asylum!
For this purpose, we are going to organize rallies and demonstrations in front of Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian embassies as well as EU representations, vigils in front of deserter monuments and other creative actions at different locations in the week before the “International Human Rights Day” – from December 4 to 10, 2023. In doing so, we emphasize: conscientious objection is a human right!
Who we are
We are an alliance of civil society organizations and are in solidarity with all people who stand up against war. We invite all people who want to stand up against war and against rearmament! There is no place for people and groups from the nationalistic and anti-democratic spectrum at our actions.
Initiated by: act for transformation; Aktionsgemeinschaft Dienst für den Frieden (AGDF); Arbeitskreis Asyl Tribsees; Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto; Association of the Greek Conscientious Objectors; Begegnungszentrum für aktive Gewaltlosigkeit; Bund für Soziale Verteidigung; Bundesvereinigung Opfer der NS-Militärjustiz e.V.; Center on Conscience and War; Church and Peace; Connection e.V.; Conscience and Peace Tax International; Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK); European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO); Ev. Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerung und Frieden (EAK); FemArtAct Social Cooperative; Flüchtlingsrat Baden-Württemberg e.V.; Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen e.V.; Flüchtlingsrat Schleswig Holstein e.V.; Frauennetzwerk für Frieden e.V.; Friedensbüro Salzburg; Graswurzelrevolution – Monthly Newspaper for a Nonviolent, Non-Dominant Society; Internationale der KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (IDK); IPPNW – Ärzt*innen für die Verhütung des Atomkrieges / Ärzt*innen in sozialer Verantwortung e.V.; Internationaler Versöhnungsbund – Deutscher Zweig e.V.; Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie; Kooperation für den Frieden; Lebenshaus Schwäbische Alb – Gemeinschaft für soziale Gerechtigkeit, Frieden und Ökologie e.V.; NaturFreunde Deutschlands e.V.; Netzwerk Friedenskooperative; pax christi – Deutsche Sektion e.V.; Schweizerischer Zivildienstverband CIVIVA; Stop Wapenhandel; Vicdani Ret İzleme / Conscientious Objection Watch; War Resisters‘ International;