Prisoners for Peace Honour Roll 2000

3rd (and final) EDITION: updated 2000.11.15

This list includes some names of prisoners whose sentences will end before 1 December; their names are indicated in green. We also include the names of nonviolent war resisters who are currently at liberty but will be standing trial shortly after 1 December; their names are indicated in red. Names of all other prisoners appear in blue.


Artur Stepanian
Vigen Hakopian
Vardan Virabian
Khachatur Zakarian
Garib Grigorian
Armen Harttenian
Vitaly Usupov
Aram Kazarian
Armen Babaian
Vaginak Saroian
Henrik Hovnikian

g Kosh, ITK, Nachalniku, Armenia
All are Jehovah's Witnesses, and are serving sentences of one to four and a half years. Virabian is serving his second sentence for refusing to serve in the military. Usupov, an ethnic Kurd, was forcibly conscripted and denied interpretation facilities at his trial.


Total objectors face a maximum prison sentence of 197 days. Since November 1999 Amnesty International has adopted a total of 14 Finnish total objectors as prisoners of conscience, based on their refusal to perform what is considered a punitive length of alternative service (more than twice as long as military service). The following total objectors will be in prison on 1 December:

Marko Tauriainen (28.8.2000-11.3.2001)
Suomenlinnan työsiirtola, Suomenlinna C 86, 00190 Helsinki, Finland

Teemu Kalvas(29.9.2000-12.4.2001)
Anssi Korhonen(1.9.2000-18.3.2001)
Juho Lindman (31.8.2000-16.3.2001)
Sami M. J. Nieminen (2.10.2000-19.4.2001)
Janne O. Nurminen (2.10.2000-18.4.2001)
Ilmari Saarilehto (2.10.2000-18.4.2001)
Helsingin työsiirtola, PL 36, 01531 Vantaa, Finland

Joonas Peltola (1.8.2000-17.2.2001)
Vilppulan varavankila, Kotiniementie 67, 35700 Vilppula, Finland


Lazaros Petromelidis is charged with "insubordination in time of general mobilization" for refusing to serve a punitive 39 months of alternative service. Lazaros is 37 years old and father of a child, a condition which would normally mean he would serve 4 months of regular military service; he has offered to do 8 months' alternative service, but this has been rejected. His next court appearance is at the military appellate court in Athens, 12 December.


Noam Kuzar served a 28-day sentence for refusal to serve in military actions against Palestinians in early October 2000. Other refusals of particular actions by soldiers and reservists may be expected if there is a widening of the present conflict.

Mordechai Vanunu
Ashkelon Prison, Ashkelon, Israel
Nuclear whistleblower convicted of espionage and treason -- kidnapped 30.09.1986. Serving 18 years, More information available from U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu, 2206 Fox Ave., Madison, WI 53711, USA (+1 608-257-4764;


During 2000, at least three conscientious objectors have received sentences of 2-3 months for refusal to serve. Under proposed new regulations, alternative service will be recognised but will be for 14 months, five months longer than military service. Applications for exemption on conscientious grounds are accepted only during the first 15 days after call-up.


In a series of trials in June 2000, 29 conscientious objectors -- all of them Jehovah's Witnesses -- were sentenced to prison terms of between 18 and 30 months. All sentences have been suspended for three and a half years.

State of Spain

José Ignacio Royo (2 yrs 4 mo from 11.2000) 2nd grade
Alberto Estefanía (2 yrs 4 mo from 11.2000) 2nd grade
Jesús Belascoain Ekisoain (2 yrs 4 mo from 8.2000) 2nd grade
José María Trillo-Figueroa Calvo (2 yrs 4 mo from 7.2000) 2nd grade
Juan Carlos Pérez Barranco (completed 2 yr 4 mo sentence 1.2000 but held in "preventive detention") 3rd grade
José Manuel De La Fuente Ríos (2 yrs 4 mo from 8.2000) 3rd grade
Unai Molinero Ortiz (2 yrs 4 mo 1 day from 11.1999) 3rd grade
Raúl Alonso López (2 yrs 4 mo from 6.1999) 3rd grade
Ignacio Ardanaz Ruíz (2 yrs 4 mo from 3.1999) 3rd grade
Javier Gómez Sánchez (2 yrs 4 mo from 2.1999) 3rd grade
Rafael Fernández Ferrete (2 yrs 4 mo 1 day from 12.1998) Conditional liberty

Joseph Ghanime López (2 yrs 5 mo from 7.1999) 3rd grade
Alberto Naya Suárez (2 yrs 4 mo from 7.1999) 3rd grade. He has requested a transfer to A Coruña (Galiza/Galicia), citing a constitutional requirement to keep prisoners close to their families.
Imprisoned for desertion as a result of the "insumisión in the barracks" campaign. The last two, Joseph and Alberto, were arrested following a public action. All are held in:
Prisión Militar de Alcalá, Ctra Alcalá-Meco, km 5, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, State of Spain.


The final stage of the trial of Mustafa Seyhoglu, Yasin Yildirim and Gökhan Birdal -- charged under section 155 of the Turkish Criminal Code for "alienating the people from the military" -- will be held in Istanbul on 5 December. See accompanying photo and caption.


Nuryagdy Gairov was sentenced to one year's imprisonment on 19 January 2000. He is serving his term in a corrective labour colony in Tedzhen. Igor Nazarov, another Jehovah's Witness, may still be serving a two-year sentence for objection at the same camp.

United States of America

Sam Hochstetler (30 days from 23 October 2000)
Greg Boertje-Obed (6 months from 23 October 2000)
Montgomery Co. Detention Center, 1307 Seven Locks Rd. Rockville MD 20854 USA
Kristen Betts (60 days from 23 October 2000)
Kent County Detention Center, 104 Vickers Dr., Chestertown, MD 21620
Trespass at Andrews Air Force Base, following a leafletting presence during an air show. The military prosecutor argued that the three had been "participating in a political protest with a message intended to deteriorate the military's morale thereby hindering them from carrying out their mission of defending the US in the event of war".

Peter De Mott (60 days from 23 October 2000)
Felton Davis (90 days from 23 October 2000)
Alexandria Co. Jail, 2001 Mill Rd., Alexandria, VA 22314 USA
Obstruction following a peaceful protest at the Pentagon, Hiroshima Day 2000.

Daniel Sicken #28360-013 (41 months)
FPC Lewisburg, P.O. Box 2000, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
Sachio Ko-Yin (30 months)
39 South 4th Street, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
"Minuteman III Plowshares" direct disarmament of nuclear missile silo, 6.8.1998. Sachio is serving the remainder of his sentence at home; see also Melissa Jameson's article on Ploughshares support.

Philip Berrigan #292-139 (30 months; in 12.1999)
Rev. Steve Kelly S.J. #292-140 (27 months; in 12.1999)
Roxbury Correctional Institution, 18701 Roxbury Rd., Hagerstown MD 21746, USA
Susan Crane #916-999 (27 months; in 12.1999)
Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, P.O. Box 535, Jessup, MD 20794, USA
Elizabeth Walz #995376 (18 months; in 12.1999)
Baltimore Co. Detention Center, 200 Court House Court, Towson, MD 21204, USA
"Plowshares Vs. Depleted Uranium" direct disarmament of A-10 anti-tank warplanes

Sr. Megan Rice #88101-020 (6 months, out 8.12.2000)
FCI Danbury, Route 37 Pembroke Station, Danbury, CT 06811-3099, USA
Re-entry trespass at the School of the Americas, Ft. Benning, 11.1999

Howard Mechanic #44998-008 (5 years)
CCA-FCC FA203B, P.O. Box 6900, Florence, AZ 85232, USA
Convicted 03.1972 of violating Civil Obedience Act of 1968 during St. Louis protest following killings at Kent State University, May 1970 - surrendered to serve sentence 02.2000

John Patrick Liteky #83725-020
FPC Sheridan, PO Box 6000, Sheridan, OR 97378-6000, USA
Sentenced for several blood pouring protests against the School of the Americas at the Pentagon on 29.09.1997 and 20.10.1997 and at Ft Benning on 25.02.1998

Ideas for action

  • On 1 December, put aside at least one hour and write at least four cards to prisoners;
  • If possible, invite friends around and make an evening of it-remember to bring nice cards, pens, photos, and some money for postage;
  • Get your peace group or class or place of worship to organise a card-writing session;
  • Set up a stall in your town centre, perform a bit of street theatre, or do whatever else it takes to attract attention and interest.

Sending cards and letters

  • Always send your card in an envelope;
  • Include a return name and address on the envelope;
  • Be chatty and creative: send photos from your life, drawings;
  • Tell prisoners what you are doing to stop war and war preparations;
  • Don't write anything that might get the prisoner into trouble;
  • Think about the sort of thing you'd like to receive if you were in prison;
  • Don't begin, "You are so brave, I could never do what you have done";
  • Don't expect the prisoner to reply;
  • Remember-next year it could be you...

If you get an interesting reply from a prisoner, please send a copy to the WRI office, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX, England.

If your card is returned, send it to the appropriate embassy in your country, with a request that it be forwarded to the prisoner.

Support our future work for Prisoners for Peace

For 45 years, War Resisters' International has publicised the names and stories of prisoners of conscience. Help us keep up the tradition:

  • Send in a special PfP donation to WRI to help fund next year's research.
  • Give a Peace News subscription to a prisoner on our list (or provide us with the name and address of someone not on our list).
  • Contribute to our fund for free subscriptions for pacifist workers and organisations that cannot afford Peace News.

Send contributions to: War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, England (tel +44 20 7278 4040; fax 7278 0444; email

Your outreach to prisoners does make a difference. Show your solidarity!

Thank you

Names of prisoners were provided by the Finnish Union of COs, Amnesty International, InsuPiso, European Bureau for Conscientious Objectors, and The Nuclear Resister. Our translators include Dominique Saillard, Yolanda Juarros, Carmen Magallón, Katia Ruiz-Jodra, Rose Marie Jodra, Inge Dreger, Roger Gaillard, and Konrad Borst.

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