Cyprus (North): Conscientious objector Halil Karapaşoğlu on trial

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Conscientious objectors Mustafa Hürben (left) and Halil Karapaşoğlu (right) in front of the court with their supporters
Conscientious objectors Mustafa Hürben (left) and Halil Karapaşoğlu (right) in front of the court with their supporters

On Thursday (1st February), conscientious objector Halil Karapaşoğlu from North Cyprus (self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC]) was on trial at the Security Forces Court in the northern part of Nicosia for his refusal to respond to the reserve call. Halil's case has been postponed to 14th March, 2024.

In the TRNC, military service of up to 15 months – followed by annual one-day “mobilisation” training – is obligatory for adult male citizens, and conscientious objection to military service is not recognised.

In January, another conscientious objector, Mustafa Hürben, from North Cyprus was on trial for refusing to participate in the reserve service. He was sentenced to a fine of 800 TL (approx 25 Euros). Because he refused to pay the fine, he spent 3 days in prison.

WRI will be following Halil Karapaşoğlu's case closely. We stand in solidarity with Halil and Mustafa, and denounce the continuing prosecutions and imprisonments of conscientious objectors in north Cyprus. Turkish-Cypriots should urgently have the human right to conscientious objection to military service recognised by law.

Read our recent statement with the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO), International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), Connection e.V. here.

Follow Kıbrıs'ta vicdani ret (Initiative for Conscientious Objection in Cyprus) for further updates on their campaigns.

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