November 10, a year later, prosecution of the conscript from the Kantemirovsky district of the Voronezh region ended. The District Court acquitted Yevgeni Plahutin, admitting that he didn’t evade the army, despite the insistence of the prosecution, but was trying to win the right for alternative civilian service.
In litigation Yevgeni was actively helped by human rights activists: "Soldiers' Mothers of Saint Petersburg" and House of human rights of Voronezh.
Plahutin received the first draft notice during the last year's autumn conscription. Pacifist by conviction, he filed an application for ACS, and therefore he didn’t attend the medical examination — it was necessary to await the outcome of the application first. But the draft board considered this "evasion of military service". In November 2013 the case was sent to the investigating authorities, and on August, 12 2014 it was in the court.
The prosecution contended that the conscript untimely filed for substitution of the military service for ACS. Moreover, the investigator Dolya persistently argued that the fact that the court appeal of decisions of the draft board is also a crime. After four months of the trial the prosecutor of the Kantemirovsky district asked to recognize Plahutin guilty and to enforce 120 thousand rubles for "evasion of military service".
Yevgeni himself pleaded not guilty. Plahutin studied the laws of the Russian Federation carefully: on ACS, CPC, including the Constitutional Court of Russia in 1996, which clearly states that "the actions of citizens to exercise their constitutional right to alternative civilian service can’t be regarded as an evasion from the unexcused military service". Thus, Yevgeni insisted on his innocence: actions of the military commissariat were illegal.
The same point of view was shared by human rights activists.
“In accordance with federal law on alternative civilian service, people exercising the right to conscientious objection to military service must first be submitted to the draft board and only after that to a medical examination. However, the draft board in violation of the law demanded Plahutin to determine his medical classification, and then intended to consider substitution for alternative military service. Besides, after appeal on the draft board decision the operation of its decisions shall be suspended until the decision of the court and its entry into effect. However, officials and investigation, in spite of this, decided that the conscript violates the law and "evades",” human rights activist Alexander Druk said.
Commissioner for Human Rights in the Voronezh region Tatiana Zrazhevskaya also assessed the case of Plahutin, recognizing that the rights of the conscript were grossly violated. And only at the meeting of 10 November 2014 he was acquitted.
“Perhaps it is the opinion of Tatiana Dmitrievna [Zrazhevskaya] affected the outcome of the case, although it coincided with the arguments of the defense. Apparently, the authority of the Commissioner played a role here,” Yevgeni admitted.
Now Plahutin is waiting for his application for ACS to be considered by the Commissariat. Maybe this year Yevgeni will win his right, which he defended in the year.
Yekaterina Bogdanova, «7x7»