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South Korea's alternative civilian service may violate international standards


Last updated 5/18/2022 at 7:14pm

SAN DIEGO – As the world prepares for International Conscientious Objector Day on May 15, more than 800 Jehovah’s Witnesses in South Korea have chosen to perform alternative civilian service instead of compulsory military duties.

Under the current ACS format, these young men are prisoners by definition, because they are forced to live and work in prison facilities.

The republic’s 36-month ACS is the longest in the world, twice the length of active military service, and thus considered punitive. Experts inside and outside of South Korea recognize the program violates an international...

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