Turkey continues to dominate this issue of co-update, after we already opened the last issue with a long report on Turkey. However, the good news from the last issue cannot be repeated. This time we have to report that torture and abuse of a conscientious objector in a Turkish military prison does not necessarily lead to prosecution - or if it does, then to the prosecution of the victim.
Bianet reported on 20 August that the Istanbul’s Office of the Hasdal Military Prosecutor decided there was no need for trial regarding the complaint made by conscientious objector Mehmet Bal about the bad treatment and torture he was subjected to in the military prison.
Twenty-three year old Mehmet Ali Avcı announced his conscientious objection on 15 August 2008 at the Istanbul Branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD), reported Bianet on 15 August 2008. He is supported by İHD members and Ümit Şahin from the Turkish Green Party.
In recent weeks several US war resisters who have sought refuse in Canada have been ordered to leave the country. U.S. Iraq war resister Jeremy Hinzman was told on 16 August that his family's application to stay in Canada has been rejected. Hinzman was told that he does not qualify under Canada's Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) program following a review by a Citizenship and Immigration department officer.
According to a report in the Southeast European Times from 21 August 2008, Albania is to abolish conscription completely by 2010. From 1 January 2010, Albania will no longer have compulsory military service. The initiative is part of the reforms required by NATO, which the country hopes to join after meeting the Alliance's requirements.
10 September, 7pm:
Meeting with Colombian CO Julian Ovalle
Housmans Bookshop, London
Colombian conscientious objector and activist, Julian Ovalle will talk about the political situation, the recruitment practice of the different armed groups, and the work of the movement for conscientious objection in Colombia.
More information: http://wri-irg.org/news/2008/ovalle-en.htm