Conscientious objector Halil Savda
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (President Ahmet Nezdet Secer). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).
Dear Mr President Ahmet Nezdet Secer
I am very concerned about the recent arrest of conscientious objector Halil Savda, who has been arrested on 7 December while attending his trial at Corlu Military Court.
Halil Savda has a complex story. He spent several years in prison, sentenced on charges of "supporting an illegal organisation". After serving his sentence, he was released from prison on 18 November 2004, and was sent handcuffed from prison to Antep Gendarmerie Station because of his desertion from military service. On 25 November 2004, he was transferred to "his" military unit in Corlu-Tekirdag. There he declared that because of the torture he had to endure in 1993, he cannot serve as a soldier. In a letter to the Commander he declared himself a conscientious objector, and demanded that Turkey finally recognises the right to conscientious objection. He had been released on 28 December 2004, with the trial still pending. He was given an order to report to his military unit, but went home instead.
However, on 7 December 2006 he appeared in court to defend himself, and to demand his human right to conscientious objection, as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. It is absurd that the Corlu Military Court justifies his custody with the explanation that Halil SAvda might abscond - why would he have presentend himself in court then?
His arrest defies the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Osman Murat Ulke, and the demand of the European Parliament for Turkey to recognise the right to conscientious objection.
I call on you to respect the right to conscientious objection, and to immediately release Halil Savda.