War Resisters' International has been informed that Turkish conscientious objector İnan Suver started a hunger strike following his re-arrest in Izmir on 22 April 2011.
İnan Suver was serving three sentences for ‘desertion’ from military service at Manisa Saruhanlı prison.
On 26 November 2010 İnan Suver was declared "unfit for military service" by the military authorities and was transferred to Kütahya Gediz prison on 5 January 2011. He was transferred to Manisa Saruhanlı semi-open prison on 5 April. On 21 April, he escaped from Saruhanlı State Hospital, to where he had been transferred for medical treatment. He was arrested on the following day.
The Aegean Army Command Military Court sentenced İnan Suver to 20 days isolation punishment for his escape from prison. This began on 23 May 2011.
İnan Süver began a hunger strike after his re-arrest, but had briefly interrupted his hunger strike on 12 May. However, he resumed his drastic protest on 16 May, saying, "I did not commit any crime. Why am I in prison?"
İnan Suver stated that he was sentenced for desertion but that he did not accept the charges and expressed his protest against the execution of the punishment.
He gave this as the reason for his escape and said he would do it again when he got the chance. İnan Suver said that he escaped from his unit several times because he did not want to do his military service. He noted that he believed he was punished much higher because he demanded his right to conscientious objection.
In its Opinion No 16/2008, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said in relation to 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 calls for letters of protest to the Turkish authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad.
Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email email@example.com.
A protest email to the Turkish President Abdullah Gül can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/13007.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of İnan Suver and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
War Resisters' International