Poland: Dariusz Matczak - conscientious objector
Dariusz Matczak is a prisoner of conscience detained because of his refusal to perform military service on the grounds of conscience. Although there is provision in Polish law for alternative service, this right is not in practice available for all conscientious objectors. He was tried in April 1993 and sentenced to one year's imprisonment by the Wroclaw Military Court. An appeal was turned down in May, and he was imprisoned some time in early August. His request to perform alternative service was turned down because he is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. The authorities' view is that as the Roman Catholic Church does not object to the carrying out of military service, this overrides his personal pacifist convictions.