Sunday, October 16, 2016

Conscientious objection in South Korea

The Hankyoreh has this detailed article on conscientious objection in the Republic of Korea, where the issue is once again before the Constitutional Court. Sentences in such case average 18 months. One district judge who did not follow the current jurisprudence wrote:
“All of us feel uncomfortable with these rulings. The issue could be solved by simply creating an alternative service system, but since there’s no law in place, we have to keep convicting conscientious objectors. Whatever preventive effect the punishment once had has vanished long ago. We keep convicting conscientious objectors, and more keep coming. It’s been the same for decades now. That means that the government should get involved and set up a program.”
The current situation, in which objectors are almost invariably jailed, seems unsustainable. Perhaps the Constitutional Court will change its stance on the issue. 

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