Pavel Abramov (on the left) and  Sergey Semushin. Photo by Vyacheslav Yaschenko for the "Caucasian Knot"

17 November 2023, 16:15

In Volgograd, court confirms right of a conscript to alternative service

The Volgograd Regional Court recognized the refusal to replace military service with an alternative civilian one for pacifist Pavel Abramov as unlawful and ordered the draft commission to reconsider the application.

Pavel Abramov is 20 years old, and while he studied in a college he had a deferment from military service. However, when the young man entered the correspondence department of a technical university, he no longer had the right to a deferment. On September 28, 2022, Pavel Abramov requested the military registration and enlistment office to replace his military conscription service with an alternative civilian one, as his beliefs contradicted the military service. The young man attached all the necessary documents to his application, including an autobiography, characteristics from places of study, and a psychological report. The regional draft commission refused to grant the request of Pavel Abramov, since, in their opinion, he failed to substantiate his convictions. Pavel Abramov called the refusal “unmotivated.”

“I filed a complaint to the draft commission of the Volgograd Region, but they did not consider my appeal, since the autumn conscription had ended by that time,” explained Pavel Abramov.

“The right to replace military service with alternative civilian service is enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The alternative service is a legal way of refusing to perform military service,” emphasized Sergey Krivenko, the director of the “Citizen. Army. Right”* human rights group.

“A person may have various beliefs, including religious, pacifist, or peacekeeping ones. The main thing is that they contradict military service. These beliefs cannot be proven ... A person just needs to submit an application to the military registration and enlistment office,” noted the human rights defender.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on August 30, in Volgograd, a court refused to recognize the right of animal rights defender and pacifist Bogdan Letunov to the alternative civilian service.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 16, 2023 at 03:43 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Vyacheslav Yaschenko Source: СK correspondent

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