After the release of Mehmet Tarhan in March last year (see co-alert,
10 March 2006),
it became more quiet about conscientious objectors in Turkey. However,
persecution continues, and even though Mehmet Tarhan had been released,
he was sentenced to 25 months imprisonment on 10 October 2006 (see
The present case of Halil Savda shows that there is no change in
policy. On 12 April 2007, Halil Savda faces sentencing for a second
charge of disobedience as a result of his conscientious objection - a
clear violation not only of the human right to conscientious objection,
but also of Article 14 paragraph 7 of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights.
Halil Savda needs international support, to break the vicious cycle of
imprisonment, "release", transfer to military barracks, being given a
military order, disobedience, and imprisonment. But support will also
be crucial to achieve the recognition of the right to conscientious
objection in Turkey.
For these reasons, activists in Turkey and War Resisters'
International call for an international day of action on 12 April 2007,
in support of Halil Savda and all COs in Turkey.