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ECHR orders to compensate JWs who refused military service


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This is regarding the Armenian government- seems the tide is turning back for a while!

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ECHR orders to compensate Jehovah's Witnesses who refused army service

Oleg Yefrosinin

17:42 27/11/2012

MOSCOW, November 27 - RAPSI. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) granted several local Jehovah's Witnesses 124,000 Euros in damages from the Armenian government. The individuals filed a complaint in relation to the legality of being arrested for evading military or alternative service.

Nineteen claimants filed the relevant complaint with the court. They claimed that in 2004 they used a law allowing Armenian citizens to provide alternative community service at hospitals, convalescent homes or specialized clinics. But in 2005, the defendants notified the facility administrators that they refused to fulfill their obligations.

The defendants justified their refusal by claiming that this alternative service was in fact subordinating them to the Defense Ministry, and thus they were in fact members of the armed forces. Since this contradicted their beliefs, they stopped serving. Criminal cases were then initiated against each of the defendants; and they were taken into custody.

Eventually, the criminal cases were dismissed, but the defendants still filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) based on the illegality of their detention.

The court unanimously sided with the defendants, and held that the government must compensate the claimants within three months.

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...Nice update Roberta...Jehovah has always been the best in record for tuning back the tide in line with his purpose....Heaven Guiness Book must have this victory records....because there are some aspects that man cant spot in Jehovah works..Anyway we dont know wether the govt will respond nicely or rather friendly to our br and sis there...but this has been a lesson learnt,they should grasp it very early before its too late(like Pharaoh).. that we are working with a most powerful GOD who wil make himself to be whatever he want to protect his people against enemies.

This reflect the truth that jehovah will make a way out for any trial -he will always be our stronghold as we endure faithfully..

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From jw.org

DECEMBER 3, 2012 | ARMENIA

Armenia Ordered to Pay Damages to 17 Jehovah’s Witnesses

STRASBOURG, France—On November 27, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the government of Armenia must pay 112,000 euros ($145,226) in damages and legal fees to 17 conscientious objectors for human rights violations.

In 2005, 17 young men who are Jehovah’s Witnesses were performing alternative civilian service. However, when they realized that it was under the control and supervision of the military, they could no longer continue to serve in good conscience and subsequently left their places of service. They were thereafter arrested and prosecuted. Some were held in pretrial detention for several months, and 11 were eventually sentenced to prison terms from two to three years.

The European Court ruled that these criminal prosecutions and detentions were illegal because in 2005, there was no law in Armenia that made it a crime to abandon alternative civilian service. The Court held that Armenia violated the Witnesses’ right to liberty and security as protected under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Although the government later dropped the criminal charges against the 17, Armenia refused to compensate them for the unlawful criminal prosecutions and detentions. Therefore, the Court ordered Armenia to pay compensation for moral damages and legal fees.

This judgment comes in the wake of three other European Court rulings against Armenia on the issue of neutrality. In all four cases, the Armenian authorities mistreated conscientious objectors who are Jehovah’s Witnesses and unjustly dealt with them as if they were dangerous criminals.

“The judgment rendered by the European Court helps to rectify the injustices suffered by these Jehovah’s Witnesses,” states André Carbonneau, an attorney for the applicants. “This line of victories against Armenia in the European Court sends an unmistakable message to other countries within the Council of Europe as well as countries such as Eritrea, South Korea, and countries in Central Asia regarding the right of Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse military service.”

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