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Peace campaigners around the world demonstrate for release of South Korean conscientious objectors

PEACE campaigners around the world took part in demonstrations yesterday calling for the release of hundreds of people imprisoned in Korea for refusing to join the armed forces.

A ceremony in Tavistock Square, London, to mark International Conscientious Objectors’ Day was followed by a visit to South Korea’s embassy to hand in signatures urging South Korean President Moon Jae In to keep his election promise of recognising the right to conscientious objection.

Opponents of conscription in Cambridge, Edinburgh and Liverpool collected signatures for postcards to the South Korean government.

More than 250 conscientious objectors remain in prison in South Korea, with an unknown number jailed in North Korea, despite recent moves towards peace in the region.

Symon Hill of the Peace Pledge Union said: “The welcome thaw in relations on the Korean peninsula should lead to human rights receiving more attention, not less.

“Let’s take inspiration from people who took a stand against militarism 100 years ago in World War I and stand shoulder to shoulder with people opposing war around the world today, whether through conscientious objection, nonviolent direct action or other forms of resistance.”

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