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TURKEY: Conscientious objector İnan Suver arrested

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  • Turkey
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War Resisters' International has been informed today that Turkish conscientious objector İnan Suver has been arrested today while trying to get an ID paper from the office of his municipality. During the check of his identity and came out that his address was listed as the address of a "deserter", and police was called to arrest him. He was first brought to the police station, and later this morning to Bakirkoy court, where his detention was ordered. He has been sent to Kasimpasa military prison, and it is expected that he will be transferred to Izmir soon.

İnan Suver was called up for military service in 2001, and according to the information presently available, he deserted after about 13 months of service, but was arrested and spent seven months in prison. It is not clear on what conditions he was released - as he was still listed as deserter, it is likely that he was released with an order to return to his unit.

When İnan Suver deserted, he had not heard of the concept of conscientious objection. Once he learned about the concept and the politics behind it, he declared himself a conscientious objector in 2009. In an interview with Dicle News Agency, he said: "Widespread knowledge about conscientious objection would be the end of the war."

In its Opinion No 16/2008, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said in an opinion on the case of Halil Savda that any imprisonment of a conscientious objector constitutes arbitrary detention. Halil Savda too had spent time in prison for desertion before he declared himself a conscientious objector.

War Resisters' International is very concerned about the safety of İnan Suver. In many cases of arrest of a conscientious objector in Turkey, there have been reports of maltreatment.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Turkish authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad.
Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr.
A protest email to the Turkish President Abdullah Gül can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/10684.

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of İnan Suver and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International