UN recognizes conscientious objection as “arbitrary arrest or detention”

South Korea’s imprisonment of men who object to mandatory military service violate UN human rights standards.
Number of conscientious objection in South Korea
South Korean men who refuse mandatory military service for reasons of religious faith are sentenced to an automatic eighteen-month prison term. Recently the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) decided to call the incarceration of conscientious objectors a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which South Korea is a signatory. The committee accused South Korea of violating the covenant’s Article 9 barring “arbitrary arrest or detention.”

The UNHRC made the decision on Oct. 15, 2014 after hearing a Mar. 2012 personal petition lodged by 50 Jehovah’s Witnesses who were punished for refusing military service, which they view as contrary to their religious beliefs. The document was released on Jan. 14.
“The UNHRC had ruled four times in 2006 and 2010-12 that [the detentions] were an infringement of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion,” explained their legal representative, attorney Oh Du-jin, on Jan. 27. “The latest decision is a step forward from those decisions because it also finds them a violation of the terms barring arbitrary arrest and detention.”
The terms of the convention also require compensation from countries that violate the ban on arbitrary arrest and detention.

More than 600 men are currently in prison in South Korea for conscientious objection to military service.
“In the past 60 years, around 18,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sentenced to prison time, with combined sentences totaling more than 35,000 years,” Oh said. “The South Korean government should feel ashamed and provide compensation for its arbitrary detentions and refusal to recognize universal rights.”

P.S Praying for our brothers and their families in south Korea to stay courageous and strong and endure. Remember Jehovah is your strong hold.

1 comment:

  1. Marcus Tippy Robinson Jr.February 17, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    That's great to hear!!!


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