ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2013.05.01

View Adopted: 2018.10.17

Danatar Durdyyev v. Turkmenistan

Jehovah's Witness Denied Religious Exemption from Compulsory Military Service in Turkmenistan

Substantive Issues
  • Freedom of conscience
Relevant Articles
  • Article 18.1
Full Text


The author is a Jehovah's Witness with no criminal or rebellious background. When summoned for compulsory military service upon reaching the age of 18 years, he explained to representatives of the Military Commissariat that his faith prevents him from complying with his military service requirement yet was still charged and found guilty of refusing to perform military service. He was charged with a reduced sentence: a fine of 6,000 manat. The author appealed and indicated his disagreement with the court's decision, yet his appeal was still rejected on the grounds that "the author did not express dissatisfaction when appealing." The author claims that he has exhausted "all reasonable domestic remedies." In his additional submission before his Committee hearing, he stated that he paid the fine and had been called up for military service several times over a four-year span but simply did not show up to his summons and that the situation did not progress any further from there.


The Committee considered that the author had sufficiently substantiated, for the purposes of admissibility, his claims under article 18 (1) of the Covenant. Accordingly, it declared them admissible and proceeded to their examination on the merits.


The Committee, acting under article 5 (4) of the Optional Protocol, is of the view that the facts before it disclosed a violation of the author’s rights under article 18 (1) of the Covenant.


Pursuant to article 2 (3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide the author with an effective remedy.

This requires it to make full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated.

Accordingly, the State party is obligated, inter alia,

  • to expunge the author’s criminal record,
  • to provide him with adequate compensation and
  • to refrain from calling him up for military service again without providing for an option to undertake alternative civilian service.
  • The State party is also under an obligation to avoid similar violations of the Covenant in the future.


Deadline for Implementation: April 2019

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