Welcome to Peace News, the newspaper for the UK grassroots peace and justice movement. We seek to oppose all forms of violence, and to create positive change based on cooperation and responsibility. See more

"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

  • facebook
  • rss
  • twitter

Historic sentence for Turkish CO

On 10 August, gay Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment on two charges of insubordination.
Mehmet Tarhan declared his conscientious objection in 2001, and was arrested in April 2005 (see PN 2461), and transferred to the military prison in Sivas. In protest against maltreatment by other prisoners, encouraged by the prison authorities, he went on hunger strike for 28 days until his demands were met.

Tarhan was released from prison after a trial session on 9 June, but returned to his military unit, and was given a new order, which he refused. This led to the second charge of insubordination.

It is significant that this decision was not taken by the local military recruitment office, but by the Central Office for Recruitment in Ankara. The second charge is in clear breach of Article 14 paragraph 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): "No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure."

Topics: War resisters