SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — An appeals court has ruled in favor of a non-religious conscientious objector who was indicted for dodging the draft.
The Uijeongbu District Court said Monday that it overturned a lower court ruling in the case of a man who was indicted for violation of the nation’s military service law.
The lower court sentenced the man to 18 months in prison in February 2018. This ruling was made before the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of conscientious objectors in a number of landmark cases.
According to the court, the defendant is a sexual minority who felt a sense of opposition to the nation’s standardized university entrance-centered education system and pressure from society which requires men to be masculine, starting from when he was a high school student.
Thereafter, he became a devout Christian and served in a missionary group after entering university.
After receiving the notice of enlistment in October 2017, he refused to serve his mandatory military service and was indicted for draft dodging.
The court said, “The defendant’s religious and personal beliefs are deeply rooted and is difficult to be considered as a strategy to dodge the draft. As such, there is a justifiable reason behind his refusal to fulfill his mandatory military service.”
“The defendant accepted the sentence of 18 months in prison in return for refusing to serve his military service. In the appeals trial, he also showed intent to carry out his military duty in the form of a 36-month alternative service at a correctional facility.”
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)