Conscription Through Detention In Russia's Armed Forces

Each year, hundreds of young men in Moscow and St. Petersburg are detained and forcibly conscripted into the Russian armed forces, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. The twenty-page report, entitled "Conscription through Detention in the Russian Armed Forces," examines the discriminatory treatment of young men who have not been successfully served with draft summonses and are forcibly brought to recruitment offices by police officials. They are given no effective opportunity to challenge their conscription, although Russian law gives draftees that right. ilitary officials send these conscripts to their assigned military units the very day they are detained, preventing contact with their families or advocacy groups who would help them appeal a conscription order. The report found that this practice effectively denies young men the right, under Russian law, to appeal their conscription.  Using accelerated conscription procedures, draft boards deny those detained for conscription a thorough medical examination and the benefit of medical or other exemptions and deferrals that are clearly provided for in Russian law.  In several of the cases researched by Human Rights Watch, the arbitrary proceedings resulted in young men with valid deferral or exemption grounds being drafted into the armed forces.