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Jehovah Witnesses Face Problems Because of Obligatory Military Service

04.04.2012

Salome Achba, www.religiebi.info

Jehovah witnesses Omar Aznaurashvili and Bondo Javakhishvili faced problems when military commissariat at the Isani –Samgori district administration recruited them to obligatory military service. Aznaurashvili and Javakhishvili are recruits but the Georgian law discharges them from obligatory military service due to their religious faith. Despite that, the Isani-Samgori district administration’s military commissariat has summoned them to serve in the armed forces.

Aznaurashvili and Javakhishvili claim that commissariat personnel cynically and ironically treat them and created many red-tape barriers for them. They said the problem was resolved after the Public Defender’s Office and Isani-Samgori district administration were informed about it.

“I informed them that I was Jehovah witness and the law allowed me not to take obligatory military service. They asked to bring the notification that I really was Jehovah witness and I did but they did not accept the document for uncertain reasons; they requested to repeatedly provide the document to the commissariat. The employees said I was swindler and they would arrest me for it. Finally, they accepted my notification but said it was not enough to discharge me from the military service and I had to arrive at the collector-distribution office on April 4,” Omar Aznaurashvili said.

Another Jehovah Witness Bondo Javakhishvili said he faced same problems at the commissariat. “I told the commissar they could not recruit me to the military service due to my religious faith. I also provided the relevant notification to prove my membership in the religious group. Having read the notification, the head of the military department threw the documents back to me and said: “Why are not you going to army, should not you defend your homeland?!”

Lawyer of the Jehovah Witness Christian Organization Manucha Tsimintia, who defends rights of Javakhishvili and Aznaurashvili, said that head of military unit at the Isani-Samgori district administration Bezhan Mzekalashvili abused his power. “The public servant abused his power. Personnel of the military unit’s chancellery at the Isani-Samgori district administration refused Javakhishvili and Aznaurashvili to register their applications and attached notifications, where the recruits requested non-military alternative labor service in exchange of obligatory military service. Javakhishvili and Aznaurashvili did their best and visited the district administration several times to convince the employees of the administration to register their documents. The representatives of the military unit were cynical and ironic with Aznaurashvili and Javakhishvili and demanded them to repeatedly provide the documents without any grounds. Next day, Omar Aznaurashvili was summoned to the military unit and instead discussing his application on alternative labor service, they compelled him to sign summon against his wish based on what he has to appear at the collector-distributing office on April 4.”

Religiebi.info spoke with the head of military service of Isani-Samgori region Bezhan Mzekalashvili. He categorically denies the accusations of Jehovah’s witnesses and their lawyer: “We have created any bureaucratic barriers for them. Javakhishvili presented an unorganized, crumpled document and the application was not filled in completely. Therefore, we remarked that he needs to present the document on his religious confession again. As for Aznaurashvili, the notification presented by him stated that he was a person affiliated with Jehovah’s witnesses. We did not understand what affiliated person meant. The presented document did not emphasize whether or not this person was really a Jehovah’s Witness. That is why we requested him to present the document again. I cannot understand what bureaucratic barriers we are talking about.”

It is interesting that Aznaurashvili presented the document with the same kind of content the second time. Despite this, the Commission received the second document without problem. According to Manuchar Tsimintia, the problems were solved after they informed Ombudsman’s Office and Governor of Isani-Samgori.

“Yes, the document presented the second time stated the same as the first one – that Aznaurashvili is affiliated with Jehovah’s witnesses. We discussed this topic, researched it and then we received the document,” – Bezhan Mzekalashvili stated with us. He categorically denied the accusation that he cynically and unethically addressed Jehovah’s witnesses: “I think that serving your country is not just putting on military uniform and doing military service. These people can bring fruit for their country by alternative service. Therefore, I categorically deny their accusations. Neither I nor any department official has assaulted them.”

According to him, the cases of Aznaurashvili and Javakhishvili were sent to State Commission of non-military alternative labor service. Manuchar Tsimintia, lawyer of Aznaurashvili and Javakhishvili also confirmed this information. Instead of obligatory military service, this commission makes decision on alternative non-military service.

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Name: გიორგი
2012-04-04 08:20
იეჰოვას კი არა სულ რომ იუდას მოწმე იყოს ადამიანი, ყველა ვალდებულია ღმერთისა და ერის წინაშე დაიცვას თავისი სამშობლო!
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