SERBIA&MONTENEGRO: Conscientious objector released from prison


Serbian conscientious objector Nikola Kovacevic was released from prison on 12 December 2003. Nikola Kovacevic has been arrested on 5 December for deserting from unarmed service in the military (see He stood trial in the morning of 12 December, and was sentenced to 3 months suspended sentence, suspended for one year. Nikola Kovacevic applied for conscientious objection back in May 2003, but was called up for unarmed service within the military. He began his service, but refused certain duties. After it became obvious that his service conditions won't change, he refused to return to his military unit. Nikola Kovacevic is prepared to serve in a genuine civilian substitute service.

Although the sentence means that he won't need to go to prison, it still is in breach of international human rights standards, as conscientious objection is widely recognised as a human right.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International