Changes before Kyrgyzstan's Parliament continue to restrict conscientious objection to "members of registered religious organisations whose beliefs do not allow the use of weapons or service in the Armed Forces". But they change the recipient of the financial penalty - called "alternative service" and equivalent to between one and two months' average wages - paid by conscientious objectors from the Defence Ministry to "the state body which handles social issues", reports Forum 18 News Service.
Human rights defender Dmitry Kabak of Open Viewpoint observed to Forum 18 News Service that there could be problems if the state deregisters a community. Temir Kasymov, assistant to Deputy Mairamkul Tlenchiyeva who co-drafted the legal changes, stated that Muslim or Russian Orthodox conscientious objectors, and atheists, would be able to opt out of military service. But asked what would happen if Muslim or Orthodox leaders were asked if their faiths allowed individuals to perform military service, Kasymov appeared unsure.
"There haven't been cases when Muslims refused to serve", he told Forum 18. Kasymov pointed out that the proposed amendments are still in draft form, and asked for help in framing them to meet concerns over who will be allowed to be a conscientious objector.