Conscientious objector's two weeks in army

Forum 18 News Service, 10 August 2012

Meanwhile, Jehovah's Witness Amid Zohrabov, from Lokbatan near Baku, was
forcibly conscripted into the army when he was summoned on 23 July by the
local Conscription Office, Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18.
Members of this religious community worldwide are pacifist and refuse to do
any form of military service. Zohrabov was transported to Unit No. 707 in
Gazakh Region in north-west Azerbaijan. However, his parents wrote a
complaint to the commanding officer of the Unit. He was freed on 7 August
and is now back at home.

"We believe Amid was freed as a result of the complaint," Jehovah's
Witnesses told Forum 18. "He complained of the cold and the poor food while
he was there." However, they welcome the fact that he was released.

Zohrabov was first called up in 2007. He immediately told the Conscription
Office of his conscientious objection to military service and his readiness
to do a fully civilian alternative service. "The Conscription Office
accepted this and didn't insist that he had to go to the army," Jehovah's
Witnesses noted.

However, in May 2012 Zohrabov was again called up. He was summoned to the
Conscription Office on 19 July and then again on 23 July, when he was
forcibly send to the Unit.

Azerbaijan has no alternative to military service, which all young men are
obliged to do. Some conscientious objectors have been imprisoned for
refusing compulsory service (see Forum 18's Azerbaijan religious freedom
survey ).