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Tarhan hunger strike ended
greece / turkey / cyprus | imperialism / war | press release Thursday June 23, 2005 11:07 by War Resisters' International
Update on Conscientious Objector Mehmet Tarhan
From Athens Indymedia
Turkish Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan, imprisoned at the military prison in Sivas, ended his hunger strike in the morning of 21 June 2005. He began the hunger strike on 25 May 2005, in protest against maltreatment in the prison and the inaction of the prison authorities to protect him. After 28 days of hunger strike, the prison authorities accepted his demands.
Mehmet Tarhan said in a press statement, made with the help of his lawyer Suna Coskun, that he had chosen to end his hunger strike after the prison management had chosen to accept his conditions. After his release from prison on 9 June, Mehmet Tarhan was returned to the military unit in Tokat, and then back to the military prison in Sivas (see the last update from 16 June: http://wri-irg.org/news/htdocs/20050616a.html).
The prison authorities accepted Mehmet Tarhan's demands for equal treatment. As he is in a cell of his own (to protect him from abuse by other prisoners), he is given a TV, is able to make his own tea, has access to books and should receive his mail regulary. Yesterday, the prison authorities accepted his demand for an examination by civilian physicians, and yesterday morning to physicians from the Medical Association of Sivas examined Mehmet Tarhan in prison, and declared him of good health. The necessary treatment after the end of 28 days of hunger strike has begun.
In a separate development, the lawyers have been informed that the first hearing in the case of his second refusal to obey orders (after his "release" from military prison on 9 June) will be on 12 July at the Military Court of Sivas. This is not only a violation of the human right to conscientious objection, but also a violation 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.” In 1999, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention already ruled against Turkey in the case of conscientious objector Osman Murat άlke that every detention following an initial detention is arbitrary, and called on the Government “to take necessary steps to remedy the situation so as to bring it into line with the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (Opinion 36/1999) That the Turkish authorities, 6 years later, again ignore these basic principles of human rights highlights their ignorance of human rights.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Mehmet Tarhan. Mehmet Tarhan 5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi Askeri Cezaevi Temeltepe - Sivas Turkey
War Resisters' International calls for urgent protest faxes and emails to: - General Staff of the Turkish Military: Fax +90-312-4250813 - Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email firstname.lastname@example.org A protest email to the Turkish President Ahmet Nezdet Secer can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050616a.html .
Sivas Military Prison 5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi Askeri Cezaevi Temeltepe - Sivas Turkey Fax +90-346-2253915 Central Office for Recruitment Ankara MSB ASKERALMA DAIRESI BASKANLIGI 06100 BAKANLIKLAR/ANKARA Fax +90-312-4193674 email email@example.com A protest email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050616b.htm . War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Mehmet Tarhan and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
Andreas Speck War Resisters' International Background information on conscientious objection in Turkey is available at http://wri-irg.org/co/turkcampaign-en.htm