Sentencing a young man to 18 months in prison last month for refusing to do his mandatory military service, the judge in the South Korean city of Suwon burst into tears.
The judge had handed down verdicts that day in five other criminal cases without emotion. But the case of Im Chang-jo, a 21-year-old Jehovah's Witness, brought out her sympathies.
Jehovah's Witnesses, followers of a Christian denomination that claims about 8 million evangelical members worldwide, are well known for refusing military service and blood transfusions.
But Im, his brother, and hundreds like them have paid a heavy price for their beliefs in South Korea, which is still technically at war with North Korea. "It is a privilege for me to abide by my conscience and I hope my country allows Jehovah's Witnesses alternative service as soon as possible," Im said in court.
Hier geht es weiter.