Russian Federation: The right to conscientious objection to military service
This report, which was prepared as part of Amnesty International's major campaign on the issue of conscientious objection in Europe, urges the authorities to respect the constitutional right to conscientious objection and enact legislation creating alternative civilian service of non-punitive length. It examines the current violation of the Russian constitution, and the prosecution and imprisonment of conscientious objectors by the military authorities. Military service is compulsory in Russia for men aged between 18 and 27. There is no law on a civilian alternative to military service. Amnesty International considers detained conscientious objectors to be prisoners of conscience, and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release. There is further concern relating to the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic, and that the proposed amnesty law could create serious obstacles to the exchange of prisoners of war, including conscientious objectors and deserters.