Jehovah’s Witness gets a jail term of two years for refusing military service

4 months ago tngadmin 0

 A military court in Dushanbe has sentenced a Jehovah’s Witness to two years in prison after finding him guilty of refusing compulsory military service.

The court made the ruling against 20-year-old Jovidon Bobojonov on April 2, the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service.

The trial was reportedly held behind closed doors.

Tajik authorities have not provided information about his sentencing.

Meanwhile, the Norway-based Forum 18 reported on April 2 nearly six months after being seized, Dushanbe’s Military Court has jailed 20-year-old Jehovah’s Witness conscientious objector Jovidon Bobojonov for two years in a general regime labor camp for refusing compulsory military service, according to Forum 18.

Judge Najmuddin Loiqzoda reportedly sentenced Bobojonov to two years in a general regime labor camp, the minimum term under Article 376 (2) of Tajikistan’ Penal Code — refusal to perform military service duties with the purpose of evading it completely.

Bobojonov has reportedly already appealed against his conviction.

Although he has been held since October 2019, Bobojonov’s sentence is deemed to run from the date of his arrest in January 2020.

Asked in late February why Bobojonov faces criminal prosecution for refusing military service on grounds of conscience, investigator Mehrubon Ibrohimzoda of Dushanbe’s Military Prosecutor’s Office told Forum 18 that the Defense Ministry gave Bobojonov “the option to serve in a special battalion, where they do not take up arms but do construction work. He refused this, which is why a criminal case was opened.”

The last conscientious objector known to have been convicted and imprisoned was fellow Jehovah’s Witness Daniil Islamov, jailed for six months in September 2017.

Tajikistan’s Jehovah Witnesses were banned throughout the entire country in 2007. The Tajik authorities’ main complaint was that Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse military service. Besides, they reportedly also propagated their faith in public places, which directly contradicts the Law.

Jehovah’s Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are conscientious objectors to military service and their beliefs do not allow them to undertake any kind of activity supporting any country’s military. But they are willing to undertake an alternative, totally civilian form of service, as is the right of all conscientious objectors to military service under international human rights law.

Source: Asia Plus