Prisoners for Peace Honour Roll 2005

How the list works

  • First are prisoners' names (in bold), followed by their sentence, then their place of imprisonment and, finally the reason for their detention
  • Information about countries where prisoners have had their sentences suspended, where sentences have been served or completed during the year, or where there are simply too many imprisoned COs to list, are in italics.

Armenia

Although Armenia passed a law on conscientious objection in 2004, the country continues to imprison conscientious objectors. Many conscientious objectors also refuse to serve substitute service, as it is controlled by the Ministry of Defence. 22 Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned their substitute service in 2005, now facing charges of desertion.

Mher Manukyan (16/12/04 - 15/12/06)
Arman Marinosyan (23/02/05 - 22/02/07)
Roma Karapetyan (24/02/05 - 23/02/07)
Sergey Ovanisyan (28/02/05 - 27/08/06)
Gevork Manukyan (03/03/05 - 02/03/07)
Ashot Torgomyan (14/03/05 - 13/03/07)
Sarkis Karapetyan (06/04/05 - 05/10/06)
Tatul Gogzhyan (15/04/05 - 14/12/06)
Armen Grigoryan (09/06/05 - 08/06/07)
Grisha Gevorkyan (01/07/05 - 30/06/07)
>> Kosh Penal Institution, Kosh, Armenia

Suren Barsegyan (09/06/05 - 08/06/07)
Ashot Virabyan (01/07/05 - 30/06/07)
Yenok Ivanyan (01/07/05 - 30/06/07)
Grachya Sargsyan (16/08/05 - 15/02/07)
Akop Muradyan (02/08/05, awaiting trial)
Vagarshak Markaryan (17/08/05, awaiting trial)
Boris Melkumyan (17/08/05, awaiting trial)
Artur Chilingarov (18/08/05, awaiting trial)
Gagik Davtyan (18/08/05, awaiting trial)
Garik Begdzanyan (19/08/05, awaiting trial)
Artur Akopyan (23/08/05, awaiting trial)
Shaliko Sargsyan (26/08/05, awaiting trial)
>> Nubarashen Penal Institution, Nubarashen, Armenia

Tigran Abraamyan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
Garazat Azatyan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
Vaye Grigoryan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
Garik Melkonyan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
Karlen Simonyan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
Genrik Safaryan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
Gayk Khachatryan (22/08/05, awaiting trial)
>> Vardenis Detention Center, Vardenis, Armenia

Areg Avanesyan (16/02/05 - 15/02/09)
>> Shishi Penal Institution, Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenian citizen who was transferred to serve in Nagorno-Karabakh and imprisoned there for refusal to serve. Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian enclave, de-facto independent but de-jure part of Azerbaijan. Armenian forces support Nagorno-Karabakh forces, and the Criminal Code of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is almost identical with the Criminal Code of Armenia.

Eritrea

Paulos Eyassu (24/09/1994 - )
Negede Teklemariam (24/09/1994 - )
Isaac Mogos (24/09/1994 - )
Aron Abraha (09/05/2001 - )
Mussie Fessehaye (June 2003 - )
Ambakom Tsegezab (February 2004 - )
Bemnet Fessehaye (February 2005 - )
Henok Ghebru (February 2005 - )
>> Sawa Prison, Eritrea

Amanuel Tesfaendrias (March 2005 - )
>> Wia Prison, Eritrea

Altogether nine Jehovah's Witnesses are imprisoned for conscientious objection to military service. Three Jehovah's Witnesses are imprisoned since 24 September 1994, for refusing to perform military service. All three have never been charged for their "crime". The maximum penalty for conscientious objection is three years.

Finland

Although under pressure from the UN and other international institutions, Finland continues to imprison total objectors, and refuses to bring its law on substitute service in line with international standards. The Ministry of Labour is now starting the process to change the law - for the first time the Finnish Union of COs will be sitting on the committee which drafts the law - but reducing the length of substitute service has been excluded from the mandate of the committee. No major changes can therefore be expected. On 1 October, 12 total objectors were in prison, but only two who will still be in prison on 1 December gave permission to publish their names.

Sauli Korpiluoma (02/08/05 - 27/01/06)
Aleksei Riikonen (12/09/05 - 29/03/06)
>> Helsingin työsiirtola, PL 36, 01531 Vantaa, Finland

Greece

In 2005, the situation in Greece got worse, in spite of broad international attention. Already in December 2004, Lazaros Petromelidis was sentenced in absentia to 2 ½ years imprisonment. He is still free, but could be arrested.
Other conscientious objectors have been briefly imprisoned in May 2005, and sentenced to suspended sentences. Several COs are awaiting the outcome of their appeal trials, and could face imprisonment.

Israel

Several Israeli draft resisters went to prison on repeated prison terms, accumulating more than 100 days in prison. Among them were Alex Kohn, one of the initiaters of the High School seniors' (Shministim) letter, and Druze objector Wissam Qablan. However, the Israeli practice of imposing disciplinary sentences of up to 5 weeks repeatedly makes it impossible to predict now who will be in prison on 1 December. Please check WRI's website for updates and new alerts at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts.

Netherlands

Turi Vaccaro (awaiting trial)

>> HvB de Boschpoot, Nassausingel 26, 4811 DG Breda, The Netherlands
Plowshares disarmament action of F-16 nuclear bombers at Woensdrecht AFB on August 10, 2005; trial resumes on 13/10/05

Puerto Rico

José Vélez Acosta (23883-069)
(five years - out on 27/01/06)
>> USP, POB 1033, Coleman, Florida 33521-1033, USA
José Pérez González (21519-069)
(five years - out 15/07/08)
>> Edgefield FCI, PO Box 725, Edgefield, SC 29824, USA
Both have been sentenced for conspiracy, damage to federal property, and/or probation violation on 01/05/03 for resisting the US military bombardment of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Please send economic support for prisoners and families, and any returned letters to: May 1 Arrestees Support Committee, P.O. Box 191792, San Juan, PR 00919-1792

Russia

Igor Sutyagin (15 years)
>> 427965, Respublika Udmurtiya, g. Sarapul; ul. Raskolnikova, 53-A, YaCh-91/5, 14 otryad; Russia
Imprisoned since 27/10/1999, now convicted of espionage for researching public nuclear weapons information - sentenced 07/04/04.

South Korea

In 2004, the country's Supreme Court and Constitutional Court ruled against the right to conscientious objection. Presently, there are about 1,000 conscientious objectors in prison, the great majority of them Jehovah's Witnesses. Presently, two cases are pending before the United Nations' Human Rights Comitee.

Turkey

The persecution of conscientious objectors resumed in April, with the arrest of Mehmet Tarhan. There are more than 50 declared objectors in Turkey, most of them can get arrested at any time. However, in general Turkish authorities avoid arresting conscientious objectors - with exceptions, as the case of Mehmet Tarhan shows.

Mehmet Tarhan (08/04/05- )
>> Sivas Military Prison, 5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi, Askeri Cezaevi, Temeltepe - Sivas, Turkey
Sentenced on 10 August 2005 to four years imprisonment for two separate accounts of "insubordination in front of his unit". Next trial date is 15 December 2005.

USA

Christine Gaunt (six months, in 20/11/2005)
Fr. Louis Vitale (awaiting trial)
Priscilla Treska (awaiting trial)
Fr. Jerome Zawada (awaiting trial)
>> Muscogee County Jail, 700 E. 10th St., Columbus GA 31901-2899
Arrested for trespass during 20 November demonstrations at Fort Benning/School of the Americas. Vitale, Treska, and Zawada will stand trial on 30 January, together with other activists currently on bail.

Ardeth Platte (10857-039) (41 months - out 22/12/05)
>> FPC Danbury, Pembroke Station Rt. 37, Danbury, CT 06811-0379
Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares disarmament of Colorado nuclear missile silo, 06/10/02; convicted of sabotage

Helen Woodson (03231-045) (106 months - in 11/03/04)
>> FMC Carswell, Max Unit, POB 27137, Ft. Worth, TX 76127
Anti-war protest at the federal courthouse, Kansas City, Missouri, on 11/03/04 in violation of parole following release from prison on 03/09/04. Pleaded guilty to violation and four new charges on 18/06/04.

Inge Donato (40885-050) (six months - out 06/02/06)
>> FDC Philadelphia, POB 561, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Convicted in December 2004 for refusal to pay war taxes on religious grounds

Rafil Dhafir (awaiting sentencing 18/11/05)
>> Jamesville Correctional Facility, POB 143, Jamesville, NY 13078
Convicted for providing humanitarian and financial aid to Iraqis in violation of US sanctions, February 2005

Michael D. Poulin (14793-097) <br>(27 months - out 25/01/06)
>> FPC Sheridan Unit 5, POB 6000, Sheridan, OR 97378.
Convicted of damaging electricity transmission towers to show the fragility of the US empire

Laro Nicol (80430-008) (2 years - out 15/06/06)
>> FCI Safford, POB 9000, Safford, AZ 85548
Human rights and anti-war activist framed on fabricated firearms and explosives charges, plead no contest to avoid longer term. More info at http://www.phoenixcopwatch.org/freelaro.htm

Name withdrawn at person's request - 2010 (13 months - out 22/08/06)
>> Building 1490, Randolph Rd, Fort Sill, OK73503
Refused to deploy after CO claim is ignored.

Kevin Benderman (15 months - in 29/07/05)
>> c/o Benderman Defense, POB 2322, Hinesville, GA 31310
Career Army officer denied CO status, convicted of missing movement to Iraq

Jerry Texiero (awaiting court-martial)
>> Pinellas County Jail, 14400 49th St. N., Clearwater, FL 33762-2890
Vietnam-era Marine Corps deserter for reasons of conscience, arrested on 16 August 2005 (!). Awaiting court-martial

Action

  • On 1 December, put aside at least one hour and write at least four cards to prisoners;
  • Get your peace group or class or meeting place 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 ...

Support our future work

For 47 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.

Send contributions to: War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX, Britain (tel +44-20-7278 4040; fax 7278 0444; email pfp@wri-irg.org).

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Online version: http://wri-irg.org/br-home.htm for all four language versions of the PfP 2005 pack.