Appeals Courts Issue Mixed Rulings over Conscientious Objectors

Appellate courts are issuing conflicting rulings on conscientious objectors.

In an appeals trial at the Suwon District Court on Wednesday, a 24-year-old man who refused military service for religious reasons was sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating the Military Conscription Law. The decision overturned a lower court's ruling, which found the defendant not guilty.

Last month, the Gwangju District Court ruled in favor of three conscientious objectors in appeals trials, marking a first for an appeals court to issue such a ruling.

The court said that religious belief and personal conscience are rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and cannot be subject to criminal punishment.

Source: KBS World Radio