Prisoners for Peace - the 2001 list

IssueDecember 2001 - February 2002
Feature by War Resisters' International



  • On 1 December, put aside at least one hour and write at least four cards to prisoners;
  • Get your peace group or class or place of worship to organise a card-writing session;
  • Set up a stall in your town centre, perform a bit of street theatre, or do whatever else it takes to attract attention and interest.

    Sending cards and letters

  • Always send your card in an envelope;
  • Include a return name and address on the envelope;
  • Be chatty and creative: send photos from your life, drawings;
  • Tell prisoners what you are doing to stop war and war preparations;
  • Don't write anything that might get the prisoner into trouble;
  • Think about the sort of thing you'd like to receive if you were in prison;
  • Don't begin, “You are so brave, I could never do what you have done”;
  • Don't expect the prisoner to reply;
  • Remember - next year it could be you...

    Support our future work

    For 45 years, War Resisters' International has publicised the names and stories of prisoners of conscience. Help them keep up the tradition:

  • Send in a special PfP donation to WRI to help fund next year's research.
  • Give a Peace News subscription to a prisoner on our list (or provide us with the name and address of someone not on our list, see back page for details).
  • Contribute to our fund for free subscriptions for pacifist workers and groups that cannot afford Peace News.
    Send contributions to: War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, Britain (tel +44 20 7278 4040; fax 7278 0444; email
    Your outreach to prisoners does make a difference. Show your solidarity! Online version See for all four language versions of the PfP 2001 pack.

    How the list works

  • First are prisoners' names (in bold), followed by their sentence (where known, in brackets), then their place of imprisonment (in bold), and finally, the reason for their detention.
  • Information about countries where prisoners have had their sentences suspended, or where sentences have been served or completed during the year, are in italics.

    On 12 September 2001, Gevork Palyan, a Jehovah's Witness, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for refusing military service on religious grounds. Although Armenia announced an amnesty in summer 2001, which freed many Jehovah's Witnesses imprisoned for conscientious objection, new sentences have been imposed since. On 12 September, 13 Jehovah's Witnesses were still imprisoned or in penal colonies for their refusal to perform military service: Khachatur Zakaryan, Amayak Karapetyan, Arman Atanyan, Vahan Mkroyan, Armen Yeghiazaryan, Vladimir Kiroyan, Vladimir Osipyan, Edgar Bagdasaryan, Aram Shahverdyan, Vachagan Hovhannisyan, Karen Vardanyan, Samvel Vardanyan and Karapet Harutyunyan. Four more awaited trial and a further five are living at home on condition that they report regularly to the local police.

    In Finland a very extensive conscription system still exists (over 90% of male citizens are called up) and the number of total objectors has been rising in recent years. In 1999 56 total objectors announced their refusal, which is the highest number since Jehovah's Witnesses were exempted from conscription (in 1987). The number will probably be even higher this year. This growth is partly explained by the aggravation of problems in the civilian service system (the service period for conscripts was shortened in 1998, but the period of civilian service has remained unchanged) but not entirely: “unconditional” total objection, which protests against the conscription system as such, seems to be growing noticeably too.

    On 1 October 2001 there were 22 total objectors in prison in Finland. The following ten total objectors, who will be imprisoned on 1 December, have agreed to us distributing their prison addresses.

      • Sadri Cetinkaya (15/10/01-01/05/02)
      • Jarkko Mauno (13/08/01-28/02/02)
        Helsingin työsiirtola, PL 36, 01531 VANTAA
      • Mikko Korhonen (16/07/01-31/01/02)
        Uudenmaan lääninvankila/ avovankilaosasto, PL 20, 05401 JOKELA
      • Juha Mikkola (01/09/01-20/01/02)
        Satakunnan vankila, Huittisten osasto, Toivarintie 581, 32700 HUITTINEN
      • Ilkka Tillanen (23/07/01-16/01/02)
      • Lauri Pynnönen (14/08/01-01/03/02)
        Naarajärven vankila, PL 1, 76851 NAARAJÄRVI
      • Aleksi Sutinen (01/06/01-17/12/01)
        Kuopion vankila, PL 7, 70101 KUOPIO
      • Ari Saastamoinen (01/08/01-30/01/02)
        Juuan avovankilaosasto, PL 26, 83901 JUUKA
      • Pyry Nurmi (17/10/01-04/05/02)
        Suomenlinnan työsiirtola, Suomenlinna C 86, 00190 HELSINKI
      • Sami Heikkinen (20/08/01-09/03/02)
        Naarajärven vankila, PL 1, 76851 NAARAJÄRVI

    In 2001 more and more reservists and conscripts refused to serve in the occupied territories, and some principled COs refused to serve at all - 32 since October 2000 (see article). They mostly receive sentences of 21 or 28 days, and receive a new call-up after their release. Check the WRI website for updates.
    • Eran Razgour, Military ID number 7118061 (28/10/01-4/12/01)
      Military Prison no. 4, Tzrifin, Military postal code 02507, IDF.
      Given a suspended sentence of 28 days on 25 October, activated on 28 October when he was given a further sentence of 14 days. Thus a total of 42 days in prison.
    • Leonid Kressner, Military ID 7156547
      Military Prison No 6, Military postal code 03734, IDF.

      Arrested on 15 October, and imprisoned since, awaiting trial. He is likely to be in prison on 1 December 2001.

    • Mordechai Vanunu (18 years from 09/86) Ashkelon Prison, Ashkelon.

      Nuclear whistleblower convicted of espionage and treason - kidnapped on 30 September 1986 in Italy.

    Korea, Republic of
    There are presently around 1500 Jehovah's Witnesses in prison for conscientious objection. About 500 are jailed each year for an average of 3 years. More information from:
    Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights, 152-053 402-ho yunyoung-building, 1127-33 guro3-dong gurogu, Seoul, Korea, (+82 2 851 908; fax 851 9087; email

    Puerto Rico
    There have been over 1000 people arrested for participating in civil disobedience actions at the US military base on Vieques, or in support of Vieques: most of them received short prison sentence or were fined. Only very few remain in prison, although this number might go up because of a new round of civil disobedience actions. See the WRI website for updates.
    • Dámaso Serrano #21626-069 (14/08/01-13/12/01)
      MDC Guaynabo, Apartado 2146, San Juan, PR 00922-2146

      Civil disobedience action at the US military base on Vieques.

    State of Spain
    Although conscription is not enforced any longer, some insumisios are still in prison.
    • Alberto Estefanía Hurtado (2 years 4 months, out 04/03/03)
    • Javier Rodríguez Hidalgo (2 years 4 months, out 20/02/04)
    • óscar Cervera García (2 years 4 months, out 03/07/03)
      Prisión Militar de Alcalá de Henares, 28870-Alcalá de Henares (Madrid)
    • José Ignacio Royo Prieto (2 years 4 months, out 04/03/03)
      Prisiín Provincial de Bilbao, Lehendakari Agirre, 92, 48870-Basauri (Bizkaia)
    • Jesús Belaskoain (2 years 4 months, out 08/08/02)
      Centro Penitenciario de Pamplona, c/ San Roque s/n, 31.008-Iruna
    • Miguel Felipe Ramos (2 years and 4 months, out 28/05/03)
      Centro Penitenciario Cáceres 1, Crta. De Torrejoncillo, s/n, 100001-Cáceres

      All imprisoned for “insumision” (total objection) in the barracks; declaring their total objection after entering the military barracks.

    • Ander Eiguren Gandarias (out 28/01/03)
      Prisiín Provincial de Bilbao, Lehendakari Agirre, 92, 48870-Basauri (Bizkaia) Imprisoned for nonviolent direct action (breaking into a military installation).

    United States of America
    • Philip Berrigan #14850-056 (02/02/01-01/02/02)
    • Susan Crane #87783-011 (02/02/01-01/02/02)
      FCI Dublin, 5701 8th Street, Dublin, CA 94568

      Prince of Peace Plowshares direct disarmament action on 14 February 1997, imprisoned 02/02/01 for probation violation due to subsequent Plowshares vs Depleted Uranium action.

    • Rev Stephen Kelly SJ #292-140 (19/12/99-18/03/02)
      >Roxbury Correctional Institution, 18701 Roxbury Rd, Hagerstown, MD 21746

      “Plowshares vs. Depleted Uranium” direct disarmament of A-10 anti-tank warplanes on 19 December 1999.

    • David Corcoren #90282-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Oxford, PO Box 1085, Oxford, WI 53952

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • John Alfred Hunt, Jr #90277-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      FCI Beckley, PO Box 350, Beaver, WV 25813

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • Steve Jacobs #88110-020 (17/07/01-17/07/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Leavenworth, PO Box 1000, Leavenworth, KS 66048

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • Richard John Kinane #90279-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      FCI Englewood Camp, 9595 W Quincy Avenue, Littleton, CO 80123

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • Mary Lou Benson #90281-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • Rachel Louise Hayward #90286-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • Dorothee M Hennessey #90287-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • Gwen Henessey #90288-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • Rebecca Kanner #90278-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • Elizabeth Anne McKenzie #90291-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • Miriam Spencer #90294-020 (10/08/01-10/02/02)
    • Mary Alice Vaughan #90296-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Pekin, PO Box 6000, Pekin, IL 61555

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • Lois Putzier #90292-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Phoenix, 37930 N 45th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85086

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • John Ewers Unit B-2, #90284-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
    • William Houston, Jr, Unit B-2, #90289-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Ashland, PO Box 6000, Ashland, KY 41105-6000 Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.
    • Claire Marie Hanrahan #90285-020 (17/07/01-17/01/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Alderson, Box A, Alderson, WV 24910

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • Eric Robison #90293-020 (30/07/01-30/01/02)
      Federal Prison Camp Sheridan, PO Box 6000, Sheridan, OR 97378

      Civil disobedience action at the School of the Americas in November 2000.

    • Alberto de Jesús

      MCC 150 Park Row, New York, NY 10007
      Sentenced to one year on 21 June 2001 for placing a Vieques and Puerto Rican flag and a “No more bombing” sign on the crown of the Empire State Building in New York. At the time of that action and arrest, he was on probation for earlier actions in Vieques.

Topics: Prison
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