Posted by: becketfund | October 20, 2009

Belarus: Government Prosecutes Conscientious Objector

GOMEL – The criminal trial of Jehovah’s Witness Dmitry Smyk, that opened on October 8 and is set to continue on October 29, is the first reported case of prosecution against a conscientious objector to compulsory military service in the past nine years, Forum 18 reported on October 20.  Smyk told Forum 18 that he was prepared to fulfill an alternative civilian service in lieu of military service, a right guaranteed by the constitution, but that the government has not created a mechanism by which this alternative service may be enacted.

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