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Fifty-eight conscientious objectors out on parole

Dec 01,2018
Most conscientious objectors imprisoned for refusing military service were released on parole on Friday following the Supreme Court’s recent not-guilty verdict.

The Ministry of Justice said 58 inmates convicted for refusing to serve in the military due to religious beliefs and reasons of conscience will be released from prisons and detention centers nationwide later in the day. The release will reduce the number of such objectors serving jail term to 13, it noted. The 58 people have spent more than six months in prison, the ministry said, adding that five other imprisoned conscientious objectors found unfit for parole in the ministry’s screening won’t be released this time.

The parole came after the Constitutional Court ordered alternative service for conscientious objectors in June and the Supreme Court on Nov. 1 acquitted a man indicted for refusing conscription on grounds of religious faith.

Until the landmark rulings, religious and conscientious objectors were usually sentenced to one year and six months in prison and most of them were paroled after serving one year and two to three months.

“The authorities thoroughly examined investigation records and other documents of the imprisoned conscientious objectors before deciding on their parole,” said a ministry official.

Yonhap