South Korea 

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South Korea: Conscientious objector Yoonjong Yoo begins serving 18 month prison sentence

(01.05.2012) War Resisters’ International is concerned about the imprisonment of South Korean conscientious objector Yoonjong Yoo. After he declared his conscientious objection, he was trialed for violation of the country’s military service law, and finally sentenced to the standard 18 months’ imprisonment on 25 April 2012. On 30 April 2012, he reported to the Seoul Detention Centre to serve his sentence.

International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service

(02.05.2011) Conscientious objection to military service is not explicitly recognised in the international human rights standards. This has led some States to argue that it is not protected by them. However, this is not the case. The Human Rights Committee, the expert body which supervises the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is clear that conscientious objection to military service is protected under the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and has stated so in Views (decisions) on individual communications, in its General Comments and in Concluding Observations. In addition, the (former) UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a series of resolutions on conscientious objection to military service, and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief of the UN Human Rights Council have also addressed the issue.

South Korea: Conscientious objector Sangwoo Kang imprisoned for 18 months

(08.03.2011) War Resisters’ International received information that South Korean gay conscientious objector Sangwoo Kang, 28, has been imprisoned for 18 months for his refusal to perform military service.

South Korea: Conscientious objector Moon Myungjin on trial

Threat of 18 months’ imprisonment

(03.03.2011) South Korea conscientious objector Moon Myungjin will be on trial for his refusal to perform military service on 16 March. If convicted - which is likely - he will potentially face 18 months in prison.