Another attempt to draft Yauhen Yakavenka
In June 2010 the member of the Party of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Yauhen Yakavenka was sentenced to 1 year of personal restraint with direction to an open penitentiary institution for the demand to be assigned to an alternative civilian service. Recently Mr. Yakavenka has received an answer from the Ministry of Defense to his request to be assigned to alternative civilian service. The answer, signed by the commissioner of the Homel City Executive Committee, colonel Yafimchyk, reads that the correspondence with the draftee on this matter is stopped.
Moreover, last week Yauhen Yakavenka received a telepone call inviting him to the military enlistment office, the officers of which again tried to hand him a writ in the Russian language. At the same time, they declined his proposal to translate the writ into Belarusian.
The draftee’s clash with the military enlistment office has a long history. At first an administrative case was brought against him and he was fined for the failure to come to the military enlistment office without a good excuse. Later this verdict was abolished by the cassation instance and the case was returned for the second trial, as a result of which Yauhen was acquitted. However, at the same time there was instigated a criminal case under Article 435.1, for ‘evasion from the draft’, in which the administrative case was considered as evidence of ‘systemic violations’ from his side. As a result, Mr. Yakavenka was sentenced to a year of personal restraint. Later he was granted parole, which was welcomed by Amnesty International.
In fact, Yauhen Yakavenka demands from the officials to ensure his legal right to alternative civilian service that is enshrined in the Constitution. He explains his reluctance to serve in the army with pacifist views. He also demands that the officials of the military enlistment office issue him with writs in the first state language – Belarusian.
By the way, on 30 March an interagency working group was established on the order of the prime minister to prepare a draft law On Alternative Civilian Service.