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Turkmenistan: Pardoning of Conscientious Objectors and Military Service Law Amendments

(Mar. 23, 2015) In February 2015, Forum 18 News Service published a report saying that for the first time for many years, “there are no longer any Jehovah’s Witnesses convicted and imprisoned in Turkmenistan as conscientious objectors.” (Felix Corley, Turkmenistan: Two Amnestied Prisoners, Conscientious Objector in Hospital, Beaten “Wahhabis,” FORUM 18 NEWS SERVICE (Feb. 18, […]

Egypt: Decree Allowing Armed Forces to Assist Law Enforcement Agencies in Protecting Government and Public Facilities

(Nov. 6, 2014) On October 27, 2014, after approval by the Council of Ministers, the President of Egypt, Abdul Fatah Al SiSi, issued Presidential Decree No. 136 of 2014, on enhancing sanctions against the offense of vandalism of public and government facilities. (Presidential Decree No. 136 of 2014 [in Arabic], AL-JARIDAH AL-RASMIYAH 43 (C) bis […]

Afghanistan: Steps Toward Ending Use of Children in the Military

(Aug. 6, 2014) According to a United Nations report, Afghanistan has endorsed a 15-article “Road Map Toward Compliance” for protecting children from military recruitment. This step follows the January 30, 2011, agreement between Afghanistan and the U.N., which was a commitment to protect children affected by war and prevent their recruitment into the armed forces. […]

Brazil: Air Force Authorized to Destroy Hostile Aircraft

(June 23, 2014) A Decree published on June 12, 2014, gives the commander of the Brazilian Air Force the power to authorize the destruction of any aircraft considered hostile in Brazilian airspace during Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup. (Aeronáutica Pode Destruir Aeronaves Consideradas Hostis, Durante a Copa, AGÊNCIA BRASIL (June 12, 2014).) Decree No. […]

Ukraine: National Guard Restored

(Apr. 4, 2014) On March 13, 2014, 262 out of 330 registered members of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s legislature) voted to pass the Law on the National Guard of Ukraine (Law of Ukraine No. 876-VII on the National Guard of Ukraine [in Ukrainian] (Mar. 13, 2014), Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine website). The National Guard, which […]

United Nations: Working Group Says Private Military Companies Should Be Regulated

(Nov. 13, 2013) On November 4, 2013, the United Nations Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries urged the countries of the world to create a binding agreement that would regulate the operations of private military and security companies (PMSCs). (Press Release, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Expert Group Calls for […]

Russian Federation, Tajikistan: Military Cooperation Treaty Ratified

(Oct. 30, 2013) On October 1, 2013, members of the lower house of the Tajik legislature ratified a treaty with the Russian Federation on extension of the term of the maintenance in Tajikstan of a Russian military base. (Lower House of the Tajik Parliament Approved Placement of the Russian Base for Another 30 Years [in […]

Norway: Draft for Women Considered

(May 8, 2013) In April 2013, the Labour Party in <?Norway joined its coalition partners, the Socialist Left Party and the Center Party, in approving a measure that would include women in the mandatory military service plan. Some political parties from outside the governing coalition have also approved the idea. If adopted, the proposal would […]

Mexico: PRI Senators Propose Military Reform

(Apr. 23, 2013) The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) presented a bill in the Mexican Congress to ensure the presumption of innocence of the members of the military forces who are judged under the Code of Military Justice. The bill replaces the presumption of guilt with the presumption of innocence under military justice. In addition, the […]

Austria: Popular Vote Retains Military Conscription

(Feb. 5, 2013) On January 20, 2013, Austrians voted on whether to retain military conscription or establish a paid career army instead. With 59.7% of the voters upholding the current system and a voter participation of close to 52%, the voters strongly rejected the abolition of a conscripted army. (Bundesministerium für Inneres, Volksbefragung 2013 (last […]