TURKEY: Conscientious objector Halil Savda awaiting trial on 15 March 2007


Turkish conscientious objector Halil Savda (TK14682), who has been
arrested on 7
December 2006
when attending court, faces a second charge of
"disobeying orders" following a "release" from prison, transfer to his
military unit, and re-arrest in January 2007.

Halil Savda declared his conscientious objection in 2004, and spent
some time in prison then (see co-alert 16.12.04),
until his release on 28 December 2004. He was arrested again almost two
years later, when attending a trial session related to his refusal to

In prison, Halil Savda is refusing to wear a uniform, and to shave his
beard. For these "offences", he spent some time in solitary
confinement. After his "release" from prison on 25 January 2007, and
the subsequent re-arrest, he was mistreated by military officers of his
unit. Suna Coskun, Halil Savda's lawyer, said in a press statement on 7
February 2007:

"The Military Prosecutor sent Halil Savda back to the military unit
again in order to be tried without custody. On 26 January 2007, Friday,
Halil Savda was subject to ill treatment at the Disciplinary Ward of
the 8th Mechanized Brigade. At the ward, a sergeant major who was the
disciplinary officer, two guardians and an officer pushed Halil to the
wall face-on, kicked his legs apart and began hitting him. Having kept
kicking Halil on the floor where he fell while yelling “you are a
traitor, you are a terrorist,” the authorities tried to silence Halil
from crying out by shoving a dirty gag in his mouth. Because of the
blows he received, Halil Savda's face is swollen and his lips cracked
and bled. 

Later these same authorities wanted to search Halil and kept harrassing
him during the search as well and demanded him to take his his clothes
off. To prevent them from harrassing him further, Halil stripped to his
underwear. After putting his clothes back on, Halil was taken to a room
with nothing to sit or sleep on. Halil was kept here for 3 days, forced
to sleep on the cement and was not even given a blanket. Halil Savda
held a 5-day huger strike in protest of  this inhumane treatment until
he met with his lawyer. The commander of the Disciplinary Ward came in
on Monday and intervened in the situation. Halil stated that his
condition has improved. Halil Savda's judicial process has now taken on
an indefinite state and has been left to the arbitrary and the
subjective policies of the Çorlu Military Prosecutor. "

In a press statement dated 24 February, Suna Coskun wrote:

"As the client Halil Savda has been on trial on the charge of
“insistent subordination” since he refused to perform military service
on the grounds of conscientiously-held beliefs, on 25 January 2007 he
was released to be tried without custody and was sent to the Tekirdag
2nd Mechanized Brigade 2nd Mechanized Battalion where he repeated that
he is a conscientious objector and refused to do military service. As a
consequence, another case was opened for the second time on the charge
of “disobedience to orders with intention of avoiding military duty
totally or partially”.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Halil

    Halil Savda

    5. Kolordu Komutanligi,

    Askeri Cezaevi

    Corlu – Tekirdag


War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the
Turkish authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad.

* General Staff of the Turkish Military: Fax +90-312-4250813

* Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email

* A protest email to the Turkish President Ahmet Nezdet Secer can be
sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20070307b.html.

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Halil
Savda and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International

Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts