English translation of CO Alert for Jhonatan David Vargas Becerra, 17 September 2014


From Justapaz:

Warm greetings.

We write you to express our worries for Jhonatan David Vargas Becerra, a student and youth leader of the Central Foursquare Church of Barrancabermeja, Santander, who was detained the evening of Sept 4, 2014.

Jhonatan was recruited by the National Army against his will on March 16, 2013, and was transferred to the 28th Battalion ASCP Bochica in Puerto Carreño, Vichada. Jhonatan has always expressed that that his religious convictions do not allow him to engage in violence or belong to armed groups, and therefore he has refused to perform obligatory military service.

The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled in Sentence T-314/2014 on September 16 that Jhonatan is a conscientious objector and that his fundamental rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are being violated. The sentence further orders the Colombian Army to free Jhonatan and give him his “libreta militar” in less than 48 hours.

For these reasons we state our support for Jonathan David Vargas Becerra and his family and kindly ask you to comply with the Constitutional Court’s ruling and immediately free Jhonatan.                                                                       



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