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lunes, 19 de marzo de 2012

Criminal prosecution of conscientious objector continues in Belarus

 

For Immediate Release

March 12, 2012

 

GOMEL, Belarus—A criminal case proceeded on February 1, 2012, against 26-year-old Aleksandr Belous, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, for being a conscientious objector.

 

In the fall of 2011, Belous was called up for military service. Due to his Bible-based beliefs, Belous requested alternative civilian service, which is provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. However, the local military board denied his request and a criminal case was initiated. On December 20, 2011, the district inspector of the Zheleznodorozhny District Department of Internal Affairs in Gomel ordered a cancellation of the case. Nevertheless, Prosecutor Denis Mikushev annulled the cancellation and on February 1, 2012, the criminal case began again.

 

Authorities in Belarus persist in their prosecution despite the fact that President Aleksandr Lukashenko recently demanded that a law on alternative service be adopted. However, Belous remains optimistic: “I’m willing to carry out my civic duty and work hard in an alternative service, but without being part of the military or under its supervision and control. Hopefully the authorities will make a provision for this constitutional right.”

 

Media Contacts:

J. R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5600

Belarus: Pavel Yadlouski, tel. +375 17 292 93 78

Belgium: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, tel. +32 2 782 0015

 

Last updated 12 March 2012 14:05:44 GMT

 

Copyright © 2012 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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