Asylum for COs from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine!

IssueOctober - November 2023
Feature by PN staff

More than 30 organisations across Europe have called for a week of action leading up to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, pressing for protection for all those who refuse military service in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

The #ObjectWarCampaign coalition, which includes Connection eV (International Support of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters), the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and War Resisters International, is urging the European Union to open its borders and to give asylum to conscientious objectors (COs) and deserters from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

They are also calling on the governments of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to end their persecution of COs and deserters.

The #ObjectWarCampaign says: ‘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.’

Demos for COs

The #ObjectWarCampaign will be organising rallies and demonstrations in front of Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian embassies – and EU representation offices – as well as vigils in front of relevant monuments.

The coalition says: ‘There is no place for people and groups from the nationalistic and anti-democratic spectrum at our actions.’