Brussels 16-1-2019 Presentation of EBCO’s Annual Report on Conscientious Objection to Military Service in Europe Focus on Cyprus, Turkey and Azerbaijan


Friday 18 January 2019 at 11:00Meeting Room QCEA, square Ambiorix 50, Brussels (close to Schuman)

With its annual report, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) puts in a nutshell relevant aspects of the complex current situation of conscientious objectors to military service in the large Europe (countries of the Council of Europe) during 2018.

During the press presentation, the author of the report Derek Brett (NGO Representative to the Committee of Human Rights at the UN in Geneva) will focus on 3 countries:

  1. The good news comes from the northern part of Cyprus where the government is proposing a law to the parliament which could solve the problem of conscientious objectors who are now at risk of imprisonment. This political initiative comes as a result of the peaceful struggle of the new generation, the pressure of the local civil society, and the international solidarity. But the bad news was that on 15 January, the Turkish-Cypriot conscientious objector Halil Karapaşaoğlu was arrested and imprisoned.
  2. In Turkey, the authorities continue the harassment of the activists of EBCO's Turkish member association VR-DER (the Turkish Association of Conscientious Objection), as well as the blatant violation of human rights and the international recommendations to recognise the right to conscientious objection to military service.
  3. Azerbaijan promised the Council of Europe on accession in 2001 that it would adopt a law on alternative service in compliance with European standards by January 2003. It has never adopted such a law.

For more information and interviews in English please contact Derek Brett, author of the report (

FRENCH, DUTCH, ITALIAN, ENGLISH: Sam Biesemans, EBCO Vice-President (+32 477268893;