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Decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd
Connection e.V.
International Support of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters

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(22.11.2016) 
AWOL US soldier André Shepherd needs asylum - Solidarity eMail, donations
(18.11.2016) 
Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL: Munich Administrative Court rejects suit by U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd - Observers have impression of bias in asylum proceedings
(03.11.2016) 
Pro Asyl, Connection e.V., Bavarian Refugee Council, DFG-VK Bavaria and MAPC: Solidarity with U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd - Invitation to court hearing on asylum case, and meeting with the press afterwards
Connection e.V.: U.S. AWOL Soldier André Shepherd’s Application for Political Asylum - A Chronology
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(31.08.2015) 
Connection e.V.: Connection e.V. Salutes Award for André Shepherd - PRO ASYL presents human rights award to U.S. AWOL soldier
(14.03.2015) 
Rudi Friedrich: U.S. AWOL Soldier André Shepherd’s Request for Asylum - The European Court of Justice: Having published its preliminary ruling, what is the next move?
(26.02.2015) 
European Court of Justice (ECJ) - Judgment in the Case André Shepherd against Bundesrepublik Deutschland - C-472/13
(11.11.2014) 
Connection e.V. and Pro Asyl: U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd: European Court of Justice Advocate General Reinforces Rights of Refusers
(11.11.2014) 
Advocate General ’s Opinion in Case Shepherd v Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Press Release of Court of Justice of the European Union
(11.11.2014) 
Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston - Case C-472/13, Shepherd v Bundesrepublik Deutschland
(17.06.2014) 
Connection e.V., Pro Asyl und Military Counseling Network e.V.: AWOL U.S. soldier André Shepherd at European Court of Justice - Invitation to Hearing and Press Conference
(10.09.2013) 
Connection e.V., PRO ASYL and Military Counseling Network e.V.: AWOL U.S. soldier at the European Court of Justice - Asylum application of André Shepherd will be heard in Luxemburg
(18.01.2013) 
Pro Asyl, Connection e.V., Bavarian Refugee Council, DFG-VK Bavaria, MAPC und MCN: Asylum application by AWOL U.S. GI André Shepherd to be submitted to European Court of Justice - Hearing at Munich Administrative Court is cancelled
(15.01.2013) 
Pro Asyl, Connection e.V., Bavarian Refugee Council, DFG-VK Bavaria, MAPC und MCN: Solidarity with U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd - Invitation to press conference, support action and court hearing
(03.04.2012) 
André Shepherd: "The peoples of the world who have borne the brunt of the unlawful attacks must have the chance at peace" - Easter Letter to all my Friends and Supporters
(13.11.2011) 
Minimum Standards for the Qualification of Refugees - Directive of European Union
(07.04.2011) 
Connection e.V., Pro Asyl and Military Counseling Network: U.S. AWOL soldier Shepherd appeals against the rejection of his application for political asylum - Severe criticism of the decision of the Federal Bureau from peace and refugee-aid organizations
(07.04.2011) 
Reaction To Asylum Decision - André Shepherd states his position
(09.12.2010) 
André Shepherd: A Demand for Justice - Message of greeting to protest action in front of Canadian consulate in Düsseldorf
(20.09.2010) 
Connection e.V. and Military Counseling Network: U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd receives award from German newspaper - No decision yet in German asylum process
(18.09.2010) 
Gallery: Ceremony - André Shepherd receives award from German newspaper
(09.08.2010) 
Connection e.V. and Military Counseling Network: AWOL US soldier André Shepherd nominated for Panter Award - Take part in the voting at the German newspaper Taz
(10.04.2010) 
Asylum Update - Letter by US AWOL soldier André Shepherd
(30.03.2010) 
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(26.11.2009) 
André Shepherd: Letter to Supporters - "I understand that this is a potential political time-bomb"
(01.09.2009) 
US AWOL soldier André Shepherd Needs Asylum! - A Declaration on Anti-War Day, 2009 - Signed by more than 100 groups and organisations
(01.09.2009) 
US AWOL soldier André Shepherd Needs Asylum! - Declaration on Anti-War Day, 2009, as pdf-file
(30.05.2009) 
U.S. Soldier Seeking Asylum in Germany: `I Want to Be Able to Atone` - Elsa Rassbach interviews André Shepherd
(19.05.2009) 
André Shepherd: Letter to Supporters - "The numerous efforts have given me the strength to continue on this difficult path"
(15.05.2009) 
Connection e.V. and Military Counseling Network: AWOL U.S. soldier André Shepherd on the International Day of Conscientious Objection - "We will not rest until the war criminals are brought to justice"
(16.03.2009) 
Iraq Veterans Against the War convenes Winter Soldier Europe before NATO summit - Testimony are available online
(07.02.2009) 
André Shepherd: Prize "Peace through Conviction" for U.S. AWOL soldier - Prizewinner said thanks
(04.02.2009) 
Connection e.V. and Military Counseling Network: U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd receives peace prize - No decision yet in German asylum process
(09.12.2008) 
US Soldier Seeks Political Asylum In Germany - SPC. Andre Shepherd - Link to video of the press-conference
(01.12.2008) 
Alemania: soldados de los EEUU solicitan asilo
(27.11.2008) 
André Shepherd: AWOL American soldier applies for German asylum - Statement of André Shepherd at press-conference in Frankfurt/M. (Germany)
(27.11.2008) 
André Shepherd: "I am petitioning for political asylum in Germany" - Statement of US-AWOL André Shepherd to asylum claim in Germany
(27.11.2008) 
Military Counseling Network: Iraq war veteran seeks asylum in Germany - Report of Military Counseling Network
(27.11.2008) 
Gallery: Press Conference in Frankfurt
Military Counseling Network - Link for Website and Contact
Tübingen Progressive Americans - Link for Website and Contact
Iraq Veterans Against the War Europe - link to website

Decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd

Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL: Much that is negative and little that is positive in the outcome

by Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL

The network for conscientious objection Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL criticize today’s decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the case of U.S. AWOL soldier André Shepherd (37) as insufficient and in part quite incomprehensible in its argumentation. “The ruling by the ECJ does not strengthen the position of conscientious objectors and deserters in political-asylum proceedings. The Court avoided some fundamental questions, and answered others unacceptably, contrary to the opinion submitted by the Advocate-General.” said Rudi Friedrich of Connection e.V.

The Court’s statements regarding wars that are mandated by a resolution of the U.N. Security Council are especially dubious. Bernd Mesovic of PRO ASYL said, “It is scandalous that the Court more-or-less decrees for such cases that no war crimes ‘are committed’ in such wars, and that this also applies to operations about which there is some other international consensus. Reality is turned on its head by an assertion of fact here.” The Court relies solely on the legal systems of states waging war, under which they punish war crimes. In her final submission, the Advocate-General had taken the opposite position.

André Shepherd announced that in the further proceedings before the Munich Administrative Court, he would refer to statements by former U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the invasion of Iraq. Annan found that it was in violation of the U.N. Charter, and said that it was illegal in his view.

Furthermore, the European Court of Justice made no ruling about when conscientious objectors can claim asylum protection. In her submission, the Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston had made it clear that a CO who object to a particular war on reasons of conscience – even without being a pacifist – may fall within the scope of the Directive if there is an "insurmountable conflict" between his military duties and his conscience. The Advocate-General stated that if conscientious objectors were prosecuted or discriminated against, they might be members of a particular social group in the meaning of refugee law. “At the European level, conscientious objection has been recognized as a human right for several years,” said Rudi Friedrich. “A clarification that conscientious objectors can expect asylum protection if they are prosecuted or persecuted in their country of origin is long overdue. This is a severe weakness in today’s ruling.

According to today’s ruling by the ECJ, measures that a member of the military may be subject to for refusing duty, such as a prison sentence or discharge from the armed forces, are not to be considered disproportionate or discriminatory in the sense of persecution, in view of the right of every state to maintain armed forces. Although the ECJ claims that it is up to the authorities of the state concerned to consider this, with its footnotes and comments it has already taken sides, against deserters and for the sovereignty of states waging war.

there is an insurmountable conflict between that that obligation to serve would entail and his conscience

Connection e.V. and PRO ASYL: Press release, February 26, 2015



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