Posted by: becketfund | September 18, 2006

Nagorno-Karabakh: Baptist Conscientious Objector Released from Prison

Forum 18 reports reports that authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have released 20-year-old Gagik Mirzoyan, jailed since September 2005 for refusing to swear a military oath for religious reasons. Mirzoyan, who is Baptist, was called up for compulsory military duty in December 2004 and initially allowed to serve without taking the oath, but when military authorities changed their mind in July 2005, he was found guilty of “refusal to perform one’s military duties” and sentenced to two years in prison. Nagorno-Karabakh has adopted a criminal code which punishes conscientious objection; currently, there is also at least one Jehovah’s Witness imprisoned on similar charges.

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