The Czech Republic has no idea how many people would enlist in the event of war

The Czech Republic has no idea how many people would enlist in the event of war
The Czech Republic has no idea how many people would enlist in the event of war

Every person in the Czech Republic can by law refuse to serve in the armed forces for reasons of conscience or religious belief. How many people would use this option in the event of a threat to the state remains a mystery. Purely in theory, everyone could refuse. Some experts are therefore calling for the state to develop a tool to at least roughly determine the number of so-called war deniers. Without it, it is almost impossible to effectively plan the defense of the state. As it turns out, for example, in neighboring Austria, roughly half of conscripted young men today refuse to serve in the armed forces for reasons of conscience.

The article was published on the website

Anyone who had to go to war under socialism surely remembers that refusing to join the “service of the fatherland” was qualified as a serious crime. If someone did not obtain (or could not obtain through various means) the so-called “blue book”, which exempted him from military duty for health reasons, then he simply had to do military service. Refusing to join the war, for example for religious reasons (for example, among the Jehovah’s Witnesses), the communists severely punished with imprisonment, sometimes repeated.

After the Velvet Revolution and the fall of totalitarianism, the Czech Republic, following the example of Western countries, introduced the so-called civil service institute into its legal system, which made it possible to avoid “service” in arms for reasons of conscience. Those who did not want to go to the barracks for the classic war could, as a so-called “civilian”, instead of the war, choose to work, for example, in social services, retirement homes or hospitals.

When full-time military service was abolished in the Czech Republic in 2004 and replaced by the introduction of a fully professional army, even classic civilians disappeared from it. However, the possibility of refusing military service remained in the law. “The Czech legal system allows a soldier in reserve, or a citizen, to refuse emergency service for reasons of conscience or religious belief,” David Polák from the press department of the Ministry of Defense wrote to INFO.CZ.

The possible refusal to join the war in the event of a threat to the state and the announcement of mobilization has its exact rules, listed on the public administration portal, but the law essentially gives people the option to “not go to fight” and instead of serving with a weapon, help the threatened country by working without a weapon. And that at the places and stations designated by the public administration.

Half of Austrians reject the war

However, the fundamental question, stated at the beginning of the text, remains how many Czechs and Czechs would refuse to go to war and exchange it for something that could be called forced labor.

Option or everyone has the obligation to “take up a weapon”, including the so-called reservists – registered reserve soldiers who completed two years of compulsory military service even under socialism. But as soon as the state called them to arms again, it would be entirely up to them whether they would go to war or refuse it on grounds of conscience or religion. What percentage would choose one option and what percentage would choose the other option?

The article is in Czech


Tags: Czech Republic idea people enlist event war


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