Sunday 10 November 2013

Statement: Solidarity with Egyptian Conscientious Objectors Emad el Dafrawi and Mohamed Fathy

We, peace and human rights organizations, declare our support and solidarity with No to Compulsory Military Service movement and with Egyptian conscientious objectors, Emad el Dafrawi and Mohamed Fathy. We condemn the silence of Egypt’s authorities over conscientious objectors’ suffering. We call on the Egyptian authorities to restore their civil rights and to recognize their right to an exemption from the military service based on their conscientious beliefs.

Emad el Dafrawi, born in 1987, has declared his refusal to the military service on 12 April 2012 because of his pacifist beliefs. He stated, “War is a crime against humanity”, “Military actions such as carrying arms and using violence, contradict with my beliefs”. He made it clear that he can’t obey military orders like participating in a war or killing nonviolent protesters.
Mohamed Fathy Abdo Soliman, born in 1988, declared his conscientious objection to military service on 20 July 2012 based on his pacifist beliefs. He stated “Obligatory conscription robs us from our natural rights in freedom of body, choice, movement, expressing opinions and beliefs”, “I refuse to be used as a tool of suppression and killing”.

Both of them had sent letters to the Egyptian military and civilian authorities, demanding exemption from the military service and to have an alternative civilian service, but all of their letters have been ignored. Major international human rights organizations ignored their suffering as well. For over 15 months now, both of them have been living without most of their civil rights. They are legally not allowed to work or study. They are not allowed also to have a passport or leave the country. Their suffering can’t last like this for ever.

Conscientious objection is inherent in the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, outlined by Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Egypt has ratified this treaty. Therefore, we call on Egypt’s government to respect international standards and meet obligations to which it has committed itself. This includes recognizing the right of Emad el Dafrawi and Mohamed Fathy to conscientious objection to military service.
10 Nov 2013

Signatures in alphabetic order:
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1- Al Kalema Center for Human Rights - Egypt

2- Association for Conscientious Objection (VR-DER), Turkey

3- Bund für Soziale Verteidigung (BSV) - Germany

4- Cairo Liberal Forum - Egypt

5- Connection e.V. - Germany

6- European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO)

7- Egypt's Secularist Movement - Egypt

8- Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerung und Frieden (EAK) - Germany

9- German Peace Society - United War Resisters (DFG-VK) - Germany

10- Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner/innen (IDK e.V.) -

11- Mouvement Chrétien pour la Paix' -Bruxelles - Belgium

12- New Profile - Movement for the Demilitarization of Israeli Society - Israel

13- No to compulsory Military Service Movement - Egypt

14- Union Pacifiste de France - France
15- UN Watch - Switzerland
16- War Resisters' International
17- Women in Black (WiB) - Madrid, Spain
18- Women in Black - Serbia
19- Zentralstelle KDV - Germany


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