The applicants, Mushfig Faig oglu Mammadov, Samir Asif oglu Huseynov, Farid Hasan oglu Mammadov, Fakhraddin Jeyhun oglu Mirzayev and Kamran Ziyafaddin oglu Mirzayev, are five Azerbaijani nationals who were born in 1983, 1984, 1987, 1993 and 1994 respectively and live in Baku and Ganja (in the case of Mr Fakhraddin Jeyhun oglu Mirzayev) (Azerbaijan). All five state that they are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The case concerns the applicants’ refusal to serve in the army on religious grounds.
The applicants, who are all of age to be called up for military service, informed their local military commissariats or recruitment offices that they wished to be exempted from such service and, in the case of most of them, to perform alternative civilian service. They were all prosecuted under Article 321.1 of the Penal Code and sentenced to imprisonment. Their appeals were dismissed.
Relying on Article 9 (right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion), the applicants complained about their convictions for having refused to serve in the army. Relying on Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 (right not to be tried or punished twice), the first applicant alleges that his second conviction amounted to a violation of that provision.
Press release ECHR 335 (2019) 10.10.2019