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MAY 18, 2015

South Korea Judge Acquits Conscientious Objectors of Refusing Military Service

On May 12, 2015, the Gwangju District Court ruled that three of Jehovah’s Witnesses were not guilty of draft evasion. Senior Judge Choi, Chang-seok stated in the decision: “It is necessary to interpret freedom of conscience under the Constitution and the duty of national defense in a harmonious manner.” He added: “When the fundamental rights collide with other constitutional interests such as a citizen’s duty, it is appropriate to interpret the law in a way that both interests can be realized to the extent possible.” The Witnesses expect the prosecutor to appeal the decision within seven days.