South Korea: Conscientious objectors’ unending legal battle
Top court delays ruling, mulls human rights record
(22.07.2018) The Constitutional Court is poised to conclude another milestone conscientious objection case, weeks after a historic June 28 ruling where it overturned South Korea's long-standing stance to alternative military service. The top court will wrap up a class-action complaint filed in 2011 by 433 conscience objectors who claimed that they were human rights victims but that they were unable to get adequate compensation from the government because of the absence of legislation. Those who filed the complaint urged the top court to take necessary measures, so the government could compensate them and expunge their criminal records.
South Korea: Conscientious objector sentenced to prison
(18.07.2018) A South Korean conscientious objector was sentenced to a jail term Tuesday, despite the recent Constitutional Court order for the government to introduce civilian forms of service for them. Seoul Western District Court ruled Tuesday that the man, surnamed Oh, must serve 18 months in prison for not complying with the country’s mandatory military service. Oh, 30, says that his political beliefs go against serving in the armed forces.
South Korea: Statement to the Ruling of the Constitution Court
Welcoming the Decision Recognizing Conscientious Objection
(28.06.2018) Today, the Constitutional Court of Republic of Korea ruled that Article 5(1) of the Military Service Act (hereafter "MSA") does not conform with the Constitution of Republic of Korea as it fails to provide alternative service for conscientious objectors as a type of military service, while setting a time limit for the continued application of the provision until December 31th, 2019. The Court's decision against the legislative inaction implies that it is unconstitutional to not enact relevant law required by the Constitution. In today's decision, the Court recognized conscientious objection as the exercise of the right to "freedom of conscience" which is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution and pointed out that Article 5(1) of the MSA is unconstitutional on account that it did not offer an alternative service for conscientious objectors who have been subjected to criminalization.
South Korea: Freedom for the conscientious objectors!
Gallery to the International Day of Conscientious Objection
(15.05.2018) To the International Day of Conscientious Objection balloons were rising up in front of the South Korean embassy in Berlin. For every conscientious objector in jail one balloon was set to freedom symbolically. With this activists from about ten organizations were urging the South Korean government to set free about 300 conscientious objectors who are in prison. The vigil was organized by Arbeitskreis Internationalismus IG Metall, Ausschuss für die Partnerschaft der Ev. Kirche in Hessen und Nassau (EKHN) mit der Presbyterianischen Kirche in der Republik Korea (PROK), Propstei GwangJu, Connection e.V., Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK) Berlin-Brandenburg, Deutsche Ostasien Mission (DOAM), Europäisches Büro für Kriegsdienstverweigerung (EBCO), Ev. Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kriegsdienstverweigerer für Frieden (EAK), International Peace Bureau (IPB), Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner*innen (IDK), Korea Verband, Mennonitisches Friedenszentrum Berlin. We thank for the support of Ev. Mission in Solidarität.