(Forum 18) – This month (October), five Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sentenced to jail terms for their conscientious objection, on religious grounds, to military service. A sixth prisoner of conscience has been given a lesser sentence, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. The number of imprisoned Jehovah’s Witnesses has been brought to thirteen by these sentences, with a further two awaiting trial on the same charges. The continued sentencing and detention of religious prisoners of conscience clearly violates Armenia ‘s previous promises to free its religious prisoners, and to introduce alternative civilian service. The Armenian Foreign Ministry declined to explain to Forum 18 how these latest sentences matched Armenia ‘s previous promises, claiming that the issue is “outside the competence of the Foreign Ministry”.