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War Resisters' International London, 11 July 2007


GERMANY: Total objector Alexander Hense in military arrest

German total objector Alexander Hense has been arrested last weekend, and has been sentenced to a first military arrest of 7 days on 9 July.
Alexander Hense had been called-up for 2 July, but did not report to his military unit. On Saturday, 7 July, military police arrested him at 23.30hrs at his parents home near Karlsruhe. The next morning he was sent to "his" military unit in Bad Frankenhausen, and was immediately detained. On 9 July, he was given his first arrest of 7 days.

It is general practice of the German military to keep total objectors in at least three consecutive arrests of 21 days, before banning them from service, and handing the case to the civilian criminal justice system. Total objectors then face charges of "desertion", which in theory can lead to imprisonment of up to five years. However, in practice sentences are much lower, and range from fines to suspended sentences of a few month of imprisonment. Non-suspended sentences have been rare in recent years.

According to German law, military arrest is only legal when there is a chance that the person concerned might change his mind. In cases of total objection, this has never happened.

  • War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Alexander Hense

 Alexander Hense, Rekrutenkompanie 5, Seehaeuser Strasse 60, 06567 Bad Frankenhausen, Germany

  • War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the German Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Jung, or German embassies abroad. An email letter can be sent at
  • War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Alexander Hense, and all imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International