Russia Forced by ECHR to Pay Over 20,000 Euros to a Young Man Convicted for Evading Military Service on Religious Beliefs in the Breakaway Transnistrian Region
The ECHR forced Russia to pay over 20,000 to a young man after his right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion was violated. He was convicted to a year in prison for refusing military service in the breakaway Transnistrian region for religious belief.
The ECHR found that the young man’s conviction for evasion of military service constituted an interference with his freedom to manifest his religion and there was no evidence to allow the Court to consider that there was a legal basis for interfering with the applicant’s rights under Article 9 of the Convention.
”The applicant, a member of a religious community in the breakaway Transnistrian region, requested that the authorities in the Transnistrian region be incorporated into the civil service in exchange for military service, based on his religious beliefs. In 2010 he received a refusal at the request, the authorities on the left bank of the Dniester initiated a criminal case for evasion from military service. In 2011, the so-called Rîbnița court sentenced the young man to one year in prison for the alleged crime. In 2012, the so-called supreme court of the breakaway Transnistrian region upheld the first instance decision.”
The ECHR established the responsibility of the Russian Federation for the violation found in the present case, referring to the effective control exercised in the Transnistrian region and the ongoing military, economic and political support to the structures in the region, thus finding a violation of Article 9 of the Convention by the Russian Government.
The Russian Federation must pay the applicant 15,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage and 5,555 euros for expenses.