Conscientious objector assigned missile service because of Jehovah's Witnesses decision


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 6 July 2017


A draft commission sent an 18-year-old believer, Avel Lukin, from the city of Shumerlya in Chuvashia, to the Strategic Missiles Troops. The official minutes of the draft commission quote the reasoning:


"In connection with the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian federation of 20 April 2017 regarding the liquidation of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, ruling it extremist, and banning its activity on the territory of the RF, to refuse to provide the right to substitute alternative civilian service for conscript military service. Article 22: To summon for military service. To assign to the Strategic Missile Troops.  To enroll in brigade No. 50. Voting results: 'yea'—unanimously." (Minute No. 3 of the session of the draft commission of the city of Shumerlya of 12 May 2017).


"Clearly the Russian government itself does not believe that Jehovah's Witnesses are extremists!" says Yaroslav Sivulsky of the European Association of Christian Jehovah's Witnesses. "Otherwise would they really send an 'extremist' for service in the Strategic Missile Troops? After all, all members of the commission voted unanimously."


The believer is trying to challenge the decision of the draft commission in court. (tr. by PDS, posted 9 July 2017)

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