Believer fined for defending his right to alternative army service

2009 2009-11-06T19:42:46+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A believer from Jehovah's Witnesses community has been punished by a huge fine for demanding the realization of his right to alternative military service.

According to RFE/RL, on 6 November the judge of the Tsentralny district court of Homel Ryhor Dzmitrenka found Zmitser Smyk, member of Jehovah's Witnesses community, guilty of draft evasion and punished him by a fine of 3.5 million rubles.

By the initiative of city military enlistment office, the prosecutor’s office charges Zmitser Smyk with draft evasion.

The believer, in his turn, demands to offer him an alternative service even if it will last longer than the military service. Religious believes of the young man, who is also a father of an underage daughter, do not allow him to take weapons in his hand or support army in any other way.

Bear in mind that the criminal proceedings against the believer was initiated after the young man demanded to realize his right to alternative military service in line with Article 57 of the Constitution of Belarus.