Conscientious objectors should not be jailed when their religious or other convictions prevent them from doing military service, says Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg, in his latest ‘Opinion’ article.
He writes: “Conscientious objection is a human right. It is high time that all member states complied with their commitments and recognised this right effectively.”
The commissioner’s article draws heavily on a recent complaints at the European Court of Human Rights against Armenia and Turkey. According to Hammarberg, “Turkey is the only country of the Council of Europe that does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for conscripts and conscientious objectors are prosecuted and imprisoned for their refusal to carry out military service.”