Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir - Addendum: MISSION TO TAJIKISTAN*

en

Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir

Addendum

MISSION TO TAJIKISTAN*

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H. Conscientious objection

45. Neither the Constitution nor any other domestic legislation recognize the right to conscientious objection to compulsory military service. The draft law on freedom of conscience and religious association would even go further in prescribing that nobody be allowed to deviate from implementing obligations established by law on the grounds of personal religious beliefs. This would imply that conscientious religious practices must ultimately give way to general duties imposed by legislation. However, international human rights standards provide that freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

46. Furthermore, in a recent case, the Human Rights Committee observed that, while the right to manifest one’s religion or belief did not as such imply the right to refuse all obligations imposed by law, it provided certain protection, consistent with article 18, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, against being forced to act against a genuinely held religious belief. The Committee also recalled its general view, expressed in general comment No. 22, that to compel a person to use lethal force, although such use would seriously conflict with the requirements of his conscience or religious belief, fell within the ambit of article 18.[4]

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VI. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

51. The Government should actively protect and promote the freedom of religion or belief of both the Muslim communities and the various religious minorities in Tajikistan. The recommendations by the Special Rapporteur refer specifically to the issues of registration, proselytism, the situation of women, places of worship, conscientious objection and counter-terrorism measures.

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56. The Special Rapporteur is concerned that the Government of Tajikistan does not recognize the right to conscientious objection to compulsory military service. She would like to reiterate the recommendation of the Human Rights Committee that the Government take all necessary measures to recognize the right of conscientious objectors to be exempted [7] from military service. In line with the Human Rights Committee’s general comment No. 22 (1993), when this right is recognized by law or practice, there shall be no differentiation among conscientious objectors on the basis of the nature of their particular beliefs; likewise, there shall be no discrimination against conscientious objectors because they have failed to perform military service. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to ensure that no legislation is adopted which overstates the permissible limitations on the freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief, especially with regard to the issue of conscientious objection to compulsory military service.

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Notes:
[4] Views of the Human Rights Committee under art. 5, para. 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, communications Nos. 1321/2004 and 1322/2004, Mr. Yeo-Bum Yoon and Mr. Myung-Jin Choi v. Republic of Korea (CCPR/C/88/D/1321-1322/2004), para. 8.3.

[7] Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixtieth Session, Supplement No. 40 (A/60/40), para. 92 (20).

Source: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G07/149/86/PDF/G0714986.pdf?…

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