From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Czech Supreme Court Acquits Adventist Conscientious Objector

From "Beckett, John" <>
Date 25 Feb 2000 10:27:04

ANN Bulletin
Adventist News Network
Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters
February 23, 2000
Czech Supreme Court Acquits Adventist Conscientious Objector

Brno, Czech Republic ... [ANN] In a decision hailed as an affirmation
of the Czech Republic's new era of religious freedom, the country's
highest court has acquitted a Seventh-day Adventist who refused the
military draft because of his religious convictions. The February 10
ruling is the latest in a series of almost 20 Supreme Court decisions
canceling or commuting sentences passed against religiously motivated
"draft dodgers" during the Communist and early post-Communist regimes.

Radomir Vojnar, who was sentenced to an 18-month prison term in the
late 1970's, has been acquitted of all convictions related to his
refusal to participate in the state-mandated military draft.  In
handing down its decision, the Czech Supreme Court ruled that, even
under the pre-1989 Communist Constitution, Vojnar should have been
protected from state coercion that violated his religious beliefs.   

Also among the cases reviewed by the Supreme Court was that of
Adventist Church member Jan Kloda, now 73. Kloda was tried and
sentenced on three separate occasions in the early 1950's for his
refusal to serve in the Czech army, and he served two separate prison

The Czech Republic does not have a standing army, so requires all
able-bodied male citizens to participate in some form of military
service. With its recent line of decisions, however, the Supreme Court
has given substance to the long-standing, but rarely upheld,
constitutional provision which protects religiously motivated
conscientious objectors. [Bettina Krause] 
Contact Information: 
Communications Department
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600

Phone: 301-680-6300

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