Voronezh Regional Court upheld the Kantemirovsky District Court's verdict and completely acquitted pacifist from the village Titarevka Yevgeny Plahutin who actively sought the right to alternative civilian service (ACS).
Photo: Maxim Polyakov
The conscript back in 2013 filed an application for replacement of military service on ACS, but the draft board denied. Already in the next call Plahutin filed the same application again t, but instead of considering it, the recruitment office tried to conscript a young man into the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
This prospect didn’t suit the native of Titarevka, and he stopped coming, continuing to insist that his beliefs are contrary to military service, requiring to consider the application on ACS.
Officers of the Investigation Committee of Kantemirovsky District qualified his failure to appear on the agenda of the military commissariat as evasion of military service, and opened a criminal case against Plahutin. Soon it was approved by the prosecutor and submitted to the court.
Unfolding events in January 2014 forced the defenders to start an active campaign to defend Yevgeny. Among those who defended pacifist were quite well-known in Russia human rights organizations and associations, such as the "Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg", "Grazhdanin.Armiya.Pravo" and Voronezh Human Rights House.
Yevgeny himself kept his own blog "Stop the prosecution of Yevgeny Plahutin", where he regularly wrote about all the trials, interrogations and other events related to its business. Then media and ombudsman of the Voronezh region interested in the history of the conscript.
However, the prosecutor referred the case to the court in August of this year that acquitted Plahutin after three months of proceedings.
“There is a legal standard in Russia, according to which the action of the citizen to realize the right to alternative civilian service can’t be regarded as an evasion of military service,” lawyer of human rights organization "Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg" Alexander Gorbachyov explained the decision of the court. “We brought the position set out in the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation dated May 22, 1996 №63 to the investigator and to the prosecutor, but only court heard it and fully justified Yevgeny. It is absolutely legal and competent court's decision".
Moreover, human rights activists are convinced that the acquittal of the Voronezh Regional Court will adjust the negative practice of application of the legislation in the area of civil-military relations. The collision is that the military first try to define medical classification of conscripts, and only then consider the replacement of military service to alternative one, with which human rights activists strongly disagree.
“Recently, investigators increasingly attempt to accuse the guys realizing the right to alternative civilian service of evasion of military service,” the coordinator of the movement "For alternative civilian service" Elena Popova said. “We hope that this negative connotation will disappear thanks to the decision of the court on the case of Plahutin that clarified the procedure for realizing the right not to serve in the army."
Alexander Peredruk, «7x7»