Skip to main content

Conscientious Objector Agustin Aguayo Sentenced to Eight Months

War Resisters' International, London, 07 March 2007
USA: Conscientious objector Agustin Aguayo sentenced to 8 months imprisonment

Yesterday, US conscientious objector Agustin Aguayo (US14915) was sentenced to eight months imprisonment by a US court martial in Würzburg, Germany. Aguayo had been charged with desertion and missing movement of his unit. Besides being sentenced to eight months imprisonment, the court martial also ordered his degradation and a dishonourable discharge.

For almost three years, Aguayo tried to be recognised and discharged as conscientious objector - without success. On 1 September 2006, he refused to deploy with his
unit to Iraq, and fled from the military barracks inSchweinfurt, where he was serving as a medic. He presented himself on 26 September, and was imprisoned immediately.

During the trial, Agustin Aguayo again stated his conscientious objection, which lead him to go absent without leave to avoid being forced to deploy to Iraq. However, he
denied that he intended to desert.

The prosecution demanded 30 months of imprisonment, to deter other soldiers from choosing a similar path of action.

With the sentencing of Agustin Aguayo for desertion and missing movement of his unit, the court martial denied him his right to conscientious objection, as enshrined in
Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The fact that AgustinAguayo was not able to get a discharge as conscientious objector, and was forced to go AWOL, highlights the inadequateness of the US military procedures for conscientious objectors, which again and again force COs to commit military offences, and spent time in prison.

Luckily for Aguayo, the court martial counts the time he already spent in prison since 26 September 2006. This means Aguayo will have to serve about 40 more days, and will be released in mid-April.

War Resisters' International calls for letters/emails of support to Agustín Aguayo -- email (will be forward to him via mail)

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the US authorities, or US embassies abroad. A protest email to US President George W. Bush can be sent at

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Agustin Aguayo and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

Archives of co-alert can be found at


Popular posts from this blog

Gays and Lesbians Opposed to Violence (GLOV) Reforms

As appeared in Metro Weekly...

Stirred to Action
Viciousness of recent anti-gay attacks spurs community reaction
by Will O'Bryan
Published on September 18, 2008

Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to motivating a community, a picture -- far more than flow charts of crime statistics or bullet points in a report -- may actually be invaluable. Add to that picture a compelling online essay, and you have the start of a community movement.

With a number of publicized attacks against local gay people in recent months, from Nathaniel Salerno's attack on a Metro train in December to Michael Roike and Chris Burrell being beaten to the ground near the 14th and P Streets NW intersection in August, the viciousness Todd Metrokin suffered in Adams Morgan in July -- written about on The New Gay blog by his friend Chris Farris in late August -- may have been a tipping point.

''There are the anecdotal stories you hear from your friends,'' says Pete Perry, a loca…

A Proposal for We The People to Institute Positive Change

Hello sisters and brothers, subjects of the United States Empire, it has become clear the elected representatives on Capitol Hill no longer truly represent us and our best interests, but rather are serving their elite major campaign contributors. They serve the interests of the extreme rich and large corporations, certainly not the average American worker, student, or retired individual.

In order to improve our government, we, a collective of dedicated social justice activists, propose three demands to those who have power to legislate within the Federal Government. We list those demands here, and will then discuss how to make sure they pass into the law of the land:

1) Universal single payer health care, something that nearly all other developed nations of the world already possess for their citizens. We, as human beings, have a right to good health and to never be financially crippled in this pursuit of our own well-being. We demand that Congress pass House Resolution 676 and a Sen…

What Does Democracy Look Like?/Revolution of the Heart, Pt. 1

"You know that this broken world, with its rising seas and hungry mouths and bodies riddled by police bullets, can be so much better. We can end the toxic corruption that gives us militarized police, and oil-slicked pipeline deals, and hopeless shoeless migrant children like the ones I went to school with in Texas. We can get to the other side together. One road, many lanes."  ~Justin Jacoby Smith, American activist
"How can an organization trying to fix our democracy operate undemocratically? How can an organization tell us that real change happens from the bottom-up. when they themselves operate top-down?" ~Kobi Azoulay, American activist
"In the end, the most important thing is not to do things for people who are poor and in distress, but to enter into relationship with them, to be with them and help them find confidence in themselves and discover their own gifts." ~Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche

"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to brin…