South Korea: After historic breakthrough, conscientious objectors face new challenges
(26.02.2019) South Korea’s Ministry of Defense proposed a system for alternative service to the military on Dec. 28, following a historic decision by the Constitutional Court in June, which ruled that the existing law does not guarantee freedom of conscience.
The court’s decision —which was a major victory for the movement to recognize conscientious objection in South Korea — has sparked a fierce debate over the issue. There have been tangible achievements, such as the Supreme Court finding a conscientious objector to be innocent for the first time ever on Nov. 1. However, the struggle over how the alternative service system will work is just beginning:
South Korea: Government plans tougher regulations against conscientious objectors
(17.12.2018) On 13 December 2018, another hearing was held in Seoul, South Korea, on a legislative amendment proposing a so-called alternative service for conscientious objectors. As it turns out, the government does, in fact, provide for stricter regulations that have conscientious objectors serve and live exclusively in detention centers for a period nearly twice as long, viz. 36 months.
South Korea: 58 conscientious objectors to be released from prison simultaneously
13 still remain behind bars
(27.11.2018) Fifty-eight South Koreans who had been imprisoned for conscientious objection to mandatory military service based on religious grounds will be simultaneously released. Thirteen conscientious objectors will still remain behind bars.
South Korea: Government considers 36 months in correctional facilities for alternative service
(15.11.2018) The South Korean government is seeking to impose 36 months of work in correctional facilities for those seeking alternatives to military service after the country’s top court recognized conscientious objection as a valid reason for rejecting mandatory military service.