Court denies right to alternative service for Pavel Syarhei
The court dismissed a claim by Pavel Syarhei against a decision of the draft board to find him fit for military service.
The district court of Maladzechna dismissed the claim by Young Front activist Pavel Syarhei against a decision of the draft board, which found him fit for the military service. The court decision was taken by judge Maria Abramava on June 19.
As BelaPAN news agency learned from human rights activist Anastasia Loika, Pavel Syarhei applied for alternative service to the Maladzecha military enlistment office due to his religious beliefs. On May 10, the draft board of Maladzechna found him fit for the military service. The activist says he did not receive a draft notice.
Pavel Syarhei went to court complain at the decision of the draft board. “Judge Maria Abramava demanded to prove his participation in activities organized by the Protestant Church. The proofs were presented, but the judge examined all materials, character references and Pavel Syarhei's views and beliefs and delivered a decision on absence of grounds to send the activist to alternative service,” Loika said.
According to her, though the decision was expected, it looked strange. “It is strange because when a similar claim by draftee Mikhail Musski was heard, the court said he cannot serve alternative service because the national legislation does not describe a procedure of non-military service. Judge Abramava says alternative service exists in Belarus while another court says there's no such a service,” Loika said.