Zhaleznichenka’s Mother Sues Military Committee
Recently a public activist and A-level student Zmitser Zhaleznichenka has been called up for military service. His mother, Ala Zhaleznichenka, is convinced that it was done with violations of the law. That’s why she decided to sue against the military committee.
‘The sitting of the draft board took place on 8 January. We did not know anything about it, nobody informed us. My son received a call-up on 15 January. On 16 January the court reversed the rector’s order for his expulsion from university, that’s why he still had the right to deferment of the military service. Till 22 January, when he was expelled again, he was a student and even received scholarship. It means that the ruling of the draft board concerning Zmitser has no legal force. We have complained to the Ministry of Defense, but were answered that the ministry did not deal with call-up for military service, and the decision of the draft board could be appealed against in court,’ said Ala Zhaleznichenka.
Mrs. Zhaleznichenka is convinced that the draft board violated the demands of the acting law on military service towards her son. Zmitser has serious illnesses, first of all – traits of hypertension. He is still kept in the medical department of the railway military forces in Zhlobin. Before this he was directed to the hospital of the Defense Ministry in Minsk.
‘There’s a joint ruling of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health Care, where it is stated that if hypertension is diagnosed for the first time, a person must be given a six-month deferment of the military service. After the second expulsion my son had a high blood pressure, which is confirmed by a medical document. It was not taken into consideration either,’ the woman added.
On 8 February the consultations of Ala Zhaleznichenka and representatives of the defendant will start at Savetski district court of Homel.
Zmitser Zhaleznichenka is a 20-year-old activist of the BPF Party. In September 2007 he was expelled from the mathematical faculty of Homel State University despite being an A-level student. After four months of trials, on 16 January 2008 he was rehabilitated at the place of study. However, on 23 January, he was repeatedly expelled from the university. On 25 January he was called up for military service and directed to Zhlobin, to railway military unit.
At the sitting of the draft commission Zhaleznichenka stated that he wanted to serve in a military unit where the orders were given in Belarusian. He also applied to the Constitutional Court, asking to answer whether the provisions of the Law On universal military service’ that deprived the soldiers of the right to use the Belarusian language (the first state language, by the way) were compatible with the Constitution.