First Female Conscientious Objector Sentenced
23 MAY 2006 - for immediate release
First Female Conscientious Objector Sentenced for Refusing Deployment to Afghanistan
FT. BENNING, GA – Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski received a bad conduct discharge today and was sentenced to 120 days confinement after pleading guilty to the charge of “refusal to obey a legal order.” She was acquitted of the more serious charge of “missing movement by design.” With 53 days already served (on Fort Benning), and 20 days off for good behavior, Ms. Jashinski has 47 days of confinement remaining.
On November 17, 2005, Jashinski made a public statement of conscientious objection on the eve of her scheduled deployment to Afghanistan. Eighteen months after filing, the Army denied her application for a discharge. She was then court-martialed for refusing to train with weapons.
Jashinski’s superiors testified that they believed in the sincerity of her CO claim, and the Judge noted that he was convinced of the same.
Aidan Delgado and Camilo Mejía, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, attended Ms. Jashinski’s trial today to support her. They described the atmosphere of the courtroom as initially tense, but said that Jashinski’s powerful heartfelt testimony changed the tone of the room.
“Iraq Veterans Against the War supports the right of every soldier to follow their conscience,” said Delgado. “As the first woman GI to publicly take a stand against this war and to declare herself a CO, Katherine’s actions are very significant. She is a fine example of a young person standing up for her beliefs.”
Ms. Jashinski is feeling triumphant and happy to have resolution. After completing her sentence she will return to school at the University of Texas at Austin and continue her work with the newly founded Austin GI Rights Hotline.