Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rights of Conscientious Objectors



 

Today is the International Day of Conscientious Objection and I will prove something, not only known to a few people but also before I start the topical, I express my appreciation and respect to Emad el Dafrawi and Mohamed Fathy (the conscientious objectors to military service in Egypt now).
I mentioned them in all my blogs not only because they are my friends but also because they are Egyptian citizens who are stripped of the right to study, to travel (outside Egypt) or to work, because they refused to serve in the military.

About them:
Emad el Dafrawi and Mohamed Fathy are almost 25 years old, they refused to serve in the military because they are pacifists and refuse to carry arms against anyone and they believe that conflicts shouldn't be resolved by arms, but resolved by peaceful negotiations. The International Covenanton Civil and Political Rights said that every one have the right to refuse to join the military. Egypt signed and ratified the International Covenant, but it doesn't respect the right of conscientious objection.

First: as I said before, both of them don't have the basic rights (study, travel outside Egypt or work) and this situation is illegal in the national law and international law, because in the Egyptian labor law which was issued in 2003, it doesn't state that any citizen can be deprived of his right to work if he did not serve in the military, but all the state institutions and the private sector ask the male citizens something which does not exist in the Egyptian labor law.

Second: In article 32 of the labor law, it doesn't state that within the applicants' conditions that the applicant should have done the military service or exempted from it.

Egypt signed and ratified the International Covenant onEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights. In this covenant, and specifically in article 3, it said (The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.)
The Egyptian constitution stated that all citizens are equal and there is no discrimination on the basis of sex, religion or color. While there is no equality between males and females in this case. How does the Egyptian constitution state that, while the government doesn't respect it?!

I'm not asking for women to be forced to perform military service. Many people know that I am against being forced to do anything. I call on the government to respect the right of Mohamed Fathy and Emad el Dafrawi in conscientious objection and to respect the laws they made, also to respect international law they ratified and that the situation of Mohamed Fathy and Emad el Dafrawi is illegal in the international law and in the national law.

Finally, the only reason that made me go to Tahrir square was that the revolution was for Egypt to become a democratic state and for the people to have the full right of self-determination, but after more than two years since outbreak of the revolution, I don't see anything of democracy which was talked about by politicians or even the activists. Democracy doesn't force citizens to do something they don't want to do, and please don't tell me that recruitment is a service to the homeland. What kind of service to the homeland in which soldiers would be killed while recruited and no one knows, only because the media can not speak about the army. What kind of service to the homeland in which soldiers are killed on borders while the leaders do not make a move to search for the killers. Compulsory recruitment isn't a national service as you claim.

Thanks to Emad el Dafrawi for correcting the translation.



 

 

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