Rus Articles Journal

Who needs alternative service?

on May 15 - the International day of the refusenik from military service on beliefs of conscience. Exactly thirty years ago this day began to be celebrated in memory of 25 thousand the Germans shot by nazis in 1944. They were destroyed for refusal to serve the fascist mode. On May 15, 1981 in Copenhagen (Denmark) the former refuseniks gathered for the first international meeting and approved this date by Day of the refusenik from military service on beliefs .

The right to refuse military service is part of the right of any person for freedom of thought, conscience, the religion guaranteed by the Universal declaration of human rights.

In 1990 the Organization for safety and cooperation in Europe (OSCE) took under the management a problem of refusal of military service on beliefs, having adopted the special statement. All states entering into OSCE including Russia, undertook the obligation to fix legislatively refusal of a compulsory military service.

the Law on alternative service

In Russia the right of the recruit for replacement of civil military service appeared in 1993 together with adoption of the new Constitution. But that the constitutional norm earned, the relevant law was necessary. Nearly ten years were necessary to wait for it. The federal law “About alternative civil service (ACS)“ was adopted in the summer of 2002, and it came into force on January 1, 2004.

The law allows replacement of military service alternative and considers it as a special type of work for the benefit of society and the state.

However not all Russians have a right idea of alternative service. And in many respects from - for conscious concealment of this subject: “Neither at schools, nor in colleges, nor in military registration and enlistment offices, nor in mass media to young people still nothing is said that there is available - at arm`s length - a constitutional right of the choice between two civil duties. On the contrary, the myth is in every possible way duplicated that the law on AGS “actually does not work“. Representations are spread, as if for receiving the right “to take out pots“ it is necessary to prove belonging to some special religious “sect“, to bring unknown references. Representation takes root into mass consciousness that AGS is an exotic“ .

Are hereinafter cited the book “Alternative to an appeal“ the specialist in the international and Russian law in the field of alternative service Lev Levinson . The book answers many questions, for example: who can choose AGS how competently to defend the beliefs what difficulties the young people passing AGS and many others face.

Initial edition of the law and a defect in it, really, create not easy conditions of passing of alternative service. In - the first, it is long terms of passing of AGS. The civil organizations established to serve 21 months for people with the higher education and 42 months for recruits without it. In 2007 the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation made amendments under which since 2008 conditions were softened - in the civil organizations all have to serve 21 months, in military - 18.

One more difficulty is an exterritoriality of service. The recruit has to serve outside his native region. But in reality it turned out that only 25 percent of the organizations can provide employees with housing. At other persons interested to accept alternatives of an opportunity to provide the hostel put under the law is not present.

“Yes, the law on AGS very is also very imperfect. At its acceptance deputies caved in before the Ministry of Defence which did everything possible that the alternative service God forbid was not attractive. Military stood up for so-called “equal burdens“. AGS, they said, there should not be easier military service … Alternativnosluzhashchim, really, hardly, but at the enterprises where they work, tortures and suicides are not multiplied, “noncombat losses“ do not grow. Burdens of AGS of other property: long term far from the house, a scanty salary. These are psychological and physical burdens of social work - with seriously ill patients, old men. Or “to the full extent“ - in construction, on production. But also that choice which is … better now, than its absence. Significantly already and the fact that beliefs of the person, his belief, his principles are put above an idol of military patriotism. It is possible to serve the Fatherland not only up in arms“.

Who has the right for alternative service?

Under the law “the citizen has the right for replacement of a military service with alternative civil service in cases if:

1) execution of military service contradicts his beliefs or religion;

2) he treats the indigenous ethnic group, leads a traditional life, carries out traditional managing and is engaged in traditional crafts“.

the Choice on religion

If belief of the person is incompatible

with carrying the weapon, he has the right to choose alternative service. And the constitutional right considers refusal of military service under provisions of religion as a personal human right, but not the right of religious association. Therefore at the direction on alternative service it is illegal to demand the document confirming membership in any religious organization. In general, the follower of any religion can choose civil service irrespective of the fact how this or that faith treats service in army. It is its personal the choice, its personal beliefs.

“So a popular belief, as if AGS - destiny of religious minorities, in a false manner. Both the Constitution, and the law unambiguously establish that it is possible to prefer AGS to a military service as being a follower of any faith, and on the beliefs which do not have any relation to religion“.

the Choice on belief

the considered law, the Constitution is not explained what beliefs contradict execution of military service, are not present an explanation to the word “beliefs“. It turns out that “in Russia can form the basis for providing the right for AGS any beliefs. Under the only condition: it have to be not some abstract beliefs “about anything“, and the beliefs interfering the specific citizen to go to military work … And it is enough to use the right not to go to army“. Beliefs can be pacifistic, peacekeeping, philosophical, morally - ethical, political, legal and other.

Real alternative to military service

“The person, his rights and freedom, its advantage and security of person admit, under the Russian Constitution, the supreme value. Observance and protection of the rights of the personality - the foremost obligation of the state ordered it in the first lines of the Constitution. Article 45 of the Constitution grants to everyone an inalienable right to protect the rights and freedoms in all ways which are not forbidden by the law. The choice for AGS can be self-defense of the right for life, safety, human dignity“. for

to our generation which is brought up in the spirit of patriotism and respect for the soldier - the defender, it is a pity that with 90 - x years of the last century the army turned into the organization with the camp mode where bodies and souls of young people are crippled. Army, generating slaves, destroys the future of the state. And only strong, proud soldiers can protect the Homeland.

Perhaps choosing alternative civil service, young people will help to revive army? If civil service it becomes valid alternative army, then military will be forced to create normal conditions in military units.

Then the Russian army will become army of defenders again, and the civil service will allow the person who owing to the beliefs is not accepting carrying the weapon to bring benefit to society peaceful work.

It turns out, the alternative service is necessary to our state and all of us?