Germany

Since Russia’s ruler Putin declared a partial mobilisation for the war against Ukraine, men and women who want to flee the country out of fear of military service and state repression have been contacting PRO ASYL by the minute. This is the information we can currently give to those affected.

We demand an immediate stop to the attacks on Ukraine, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a return to the negotiating table. We call on all soldiers to lay down their arms and refuse to go to war. We demand from the European Union to open its borders for refugees and to maintain the visa-free regime for Ukrainians. The German government must accept and support deserters and conscientious objectors from Ukraine and Russia.

Following reports on right-wing extremism activities by active or former members of the German army, the new commissioner for the armed forces, Eva Högl, started a debate affirming that “ending conscription was a big mistake” and reintroducing it might help tackle antidemocratic ideas inside the army. The Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer rejected the idea of the return of compulsory military service, announcing, on the other hand, a new voluntary service called “Your year for Germany” which will be introduced in 2021.

CO-Update 100 is out!

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The latest issue of our newsletter CO Update is out! In this issue, you'll find stories on conscientious objection and conscription from Ukraine,Turkey, Eritrea, Germany, USA, Azerbaijan, Thailand, among others.

PRO ASYL and Connection e.V., both based in Germany, released a report criticising the German government for its record of denying refugee status for asylum seekers from Eritrea. In their report, the organisations detailed the ongoing oppressive practices of the Eritrean regime, despite a peace treaty between Ethiopia and Eritrea in July 2018. They called on German authorities and courts to provide necessary protection for Eritreans fleeing the oppression and indefinite conscription in Eritrea in accordance with the UNHCR guidelines and Geneva Convention.

The German arms company Sig Sauer has announced it intends to close its arms factory in Eckernförde by the end of year. The company blamed "locational handicaps" and the German military and police preferring a "few other local producers".

In late April the German government’s Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, proposed the purchase 93 Eurofighters made by Airbus and 45 F-18s built by the US-based company Boeing, to replace its Tornado bomber-fighter fleet.

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