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Azerbaijan: Will regime implement alternative service commitment?

(28.04.2020) Ruling party deputy Siyavush Novruzov told parliament on 30 March that an Alternative Service Law should be adopted. Parliament’s Defence Committee is handling this, he told Forum 18. The government has not made public any draft. Azerbaijan committed to the Council of Europe to have alternative service by 2003 but failed to meet its obligation. Jehovah’s Witnesses say criminal cases against their conscientious objectors are not being pursued.

After pledging in 2001 to the Council of Europe it would have introduced a civilian alternative for those who cannot perform military service on grounds of conscience by January 2003, a senior ruling party politician told Azerbaijan’s parliament, the Milli Mejlis, on 30 March 2020 that an Alternative Service Law should be adopted. The brief remark by parliamentary deputy Siyavush Novruzov was widely reported in the media with no comment. The government has not yet made public any draft law.

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Photo: Mari Park, Amnesty International

South Korea: Alternative to military service is new punishment for conscientious objectors

(27.12.2019) Conscientious objectors in South Korea will continue to be punished and stigmatized for refusing military service under a new alternative service law that was adopted today by the country’s parliament, said Amnesty International. Under the new law, those refusing military service on religious or other grounds will be required to work in a jail or other correctional facility for three years. Previously, they would have been jailed for 18 months.

Rally to conscientious objection in Seoul

South Korea: Conscientious objectors wait for alternative service as legislators remain idle

(23.09.2019) The military conscription system in South Korea has been in place for decades. Conscientious objectors’ fight against the system that criminalized them lasted nearly as long, and they chose to go to jail rather than serve in the military because their faith forbids bearing arms. Their decades long struggle came to an end in June 2018, when the country’s Constitutional Court made a landmark ruling that would lift the stamp of “guilt” from thousands of conscientious objectors. 

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Military (Amendment) Draft Law

On the Right to Conscientious Objection

(09.01.2019) An amendment of the military law have been submitted to the Parliament of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This is intended to regulate conscientious objection.

The law provides for conscientious objectors living in the north of Cyprus to fulfill the conscription through conducting civilian service within the armed forces without being subject to military training or through conducting a substitute service in a public institution to which they will be assigned
by the military forces.

Regulations on the duration of the service are not included in the bill. As far as can be seen from the bill, this is left to the implementing regulations of the Prime Minister.

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