Release conscientious objector Ali Fikri Işık

Not sent after

Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (President Abdullah Gül). 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 Abdullah Gül,

I am concerned to hear about the imprisonment, on 27th February, of conscientious objector Ali Fikri Işık. He will serve 1 year and 15 days in Edirne Military Prison for 'desertion'. Since 27th February, Ali Fikri Işık has been on hunger strike.

Isik has already served 4.5 months in Edirne Military Prison for 'draft evasion'. He declared his conscientious objection whilst on trial in the military court.

Ali Fikri Işık' conscientious objection is a human right protected by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Further to this, on 7 July 2011, the European Court of Human Rights, in their judgement Bayatyan v. Armenia, ruled that states have a duty to respect individuals’ right to conscientious objection to military service as part of their obligation to respect the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Since then, the European Court of Human Rights has consolidated its jurisprudence in judgements on Turkey (Demirtaş v. Turkey from 17 January 2012; Erçep v. Turkey from 22 November 2011; Savda v. Turkey from 12 June 2012, and Tarhan v. Turkey from 17 July 2012).

According to article 90 of the Turkish constitution, European Human Rights Court rulings must to be enforced. By not respecting this article, you are breaching the Turkish constitution.

Moreover, repeated imprisonment is a violation of international legal standards. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in Opinion 24/2003 on Israel came to the conclusion that the repeated imprisonment of conscientious objectors is arbitrary, and therefore it constitutes a violation of 14 par 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Turkey is a signatory.

I therefore urge you to immediately release Ali Fikri Işık, and cease prosecutions against all conscientious objectors, in line with your international obligations.

Yours sincerely,