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South Africa

Volume 167: debated on Monday 12 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the South African authorities concerning the human rights implications of the continued imprisonment of those persons who have refused to serve in the South African defence forces for reasons of faith.

The South African Defence Act makes provision for conscientious objection on religious grounds. We understand why some young South Africans choose to refuse military service and we respect the strength and sincerity of their views. Such decisions are., however, a matter for the individuals concerned.