Conscientious objection is a human right. This includes the right to asylum!

Protection and asylum for conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine

(15.05.2023) On this year’s International Day of Conscientious Objection, 30 organizations from Europe called for protection for all those who refuse military service in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. During a ceremonial action, almost 50,000 signatures of the #ObjectWarCampaign were handed over to the European Commission in Berlin. The handover of the petition was accompanied by speeches by national and international guests from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, other actions and music.Almost 50,000 signatures handed over in Berlin on the occasion of International Day of Conscientious Objection.

Rudi Friedrich, Connection e.V.: “Deserters and conscientious objectors from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus must be guaranteed refugee protection within the European Union. Real protection for all those who refuse war is long overdue.”

Maria A, Movement for Conscientious Objection, Russia: “Let us be voices of peace in the face of war and oppression. Let’s speak the truth against censorship. In the midst of war, let us advocate non-violence. In this way, we support today’s conscientious objectors and pave the way for a future.”

Yurii Sheliazhenko, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, in a message of greeting: “I urge you to support the #ObjectWarCampaign. Ukraine has suspended the right to conscientious objection. The European Union must strongly reaffirm respect for the human right to conscientious objection and insist that Russia, Belarus and Ukraine also respect this human right. Human rights are a foundation for a just peace.”

Olga Karatch, Nash Dom, Belarus: “We can only win in this war if we agree NOT to fight, if we DO NOT speak the language of war and hatred, if we DO NOT agree with the idea that human rights mean nothing, that they are not universal.”

Tareq Alaows, PRO ASYL: “Asylum is a human right. This includes the right to conscientious objection. It is intolerable that the European Union wants to undermine access to the right to asylum. According to the EU’s plans, people fleeing military service by a terrorist regime are also threatened with rejection at their borders.”

Michael Zimmermann, Ev. Working Group for Conscientious Objection and Peace (EAK): “Thou shalt not kill, it says in the Bible. No one should be forced against his conscience to shoot at a human being. Anyone who evades military service therefore needs our support and a generous granting of asylum.” Around 80 people took part in the central action in front of the European Commission.

Together, they thought of those people who claim the right to conscientious objection – the right to refuse to kill – and in this way actively participate in the resistance from below. This is now the case for hundreds of thousands of people in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. They desert, refuse to serve, refuse orders or evade recruitment. Therefore, the participating organizations call on the governments of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to immediately stop the persecution of conscientious objectors and deserters. They expect the EU and the German government to open the borders and protect conscientious objectors and deserters from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine through the right of asylum. The action sent a clear signal to stop the war in Ukraine and strengthen resistance on all sides. The highlight was the handover of the almost 50,000 signatures collected during the #ObjectWarCampaign and received by representatives of the European Commission.

Contact Rudi Friedrich, Connection e.V.,, 069 8237 5534

Photos of the action can be found at (If this link doesn’t work, copy & paste into your browser.)

For more information on the #ObjectWarCampaign