Infinitely Curious Katerina Batzaki
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Infinitely Curious: Conscientious Objectors | 26 May 2024

I’ve always wondered why in the year 2024 there are still countries invading or fighting each other and why with all the lessons we have learned from history there are still people who want to kill each other. Until I met a group of conscientious objectors at a conference in Athens last week who believed in non-violence. International Conscientious Objectors’ Day (15 May) was marked around the world, to raise awareness of the struggles of conscientious objectors and to send them a message of solidarity.

In the many countries where there is conscription, people refusing military service are often imprisoned or forced to become refugees. In Israel, eighteen-year-old Tal Mitnick was the first to declare a conscientious objection since October last year and has since been followed by several others ending up in prison for 100 days and more. Moreover, according to the Refuser Solidarity Network, hundreds more Israelis have refused to participate in the war, both conscripts and reservists. Young Israelis who declare a conscientious objection are aggressively questioned and can be given repeated sentences in military prison, whilst often facing stigmatisation and ostracism from wider society. Similar is the situation with objectors in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

On this episode of “Infinitely Curious” with Katerina Batzaki you will hear an exclusive interview with conscientious objector Daniel from Israel saying why he opposes going to war and talking about the current state between the two countries. Listen to human rights activist Alexia Tsouni, filmmaker and the President of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection, who recently went to Israel talk about her documentary on Conscientious Objectors there and the situation with other objectors in other countries and how they are treated.