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15 May 2002: Conscientious objectors in prison

How the list works

First are prisoners' names (in bold), followed by their sentence (in brackets, where known), then their place of imprisonment (in bold), and finally, the reason for their detention.

Information about countries where prisoners have had their sentences suspended, or where sentences have been served or completed during the year are in italics.

Armenia

On 12 September 2001, Gevork Palyan, a Jehovah's Witness, was sentenced to one year imprisonment for refusing military service on religious grounds. Although Armenia announced an amnesty in summer 2001, which freed many Jehovah's Witnesses imprisoned for conscientious objection, new sentences occurred since.

On 12 September, 13 Jehovah's Witnesses were still imprisoned or in penal colonies due to their refusal to perform military service: Khachatur Zakaryan, Amayak Karapetyan, Arman Atanyan, Vahan Mkroyan, Armen Yeghiazaryan, Vladimir Kiroyan, Vladimir Osipyan, Edgar Bagdasaryan, Aram Shahverdyan, Vachagan Hovhannisyan, Karen Vardanyan, Samvel Vardanyan and Karapet Harutyunyan. Four more awaited trial and a further five are living at home on condition that they report regularly to local police.

Finland

There are presently seven total objectors in prison in Finland.

§ Tuomas Tahko (13/03/02-30/09/02)
Helsingin työsiirtola, PL 36, 01531 VANTAA
§ Lauri Uusitalo (07/01/02-24/07/02)
§ Ville Laakso (29/01/02-16/08/02)
§ Tuomas Mäki (07/01/02-07/07/02)
Satakunnan vankila, Huittisten osasto, Toivarintie 581, 32700 HUITTINEN
§ Valo Lankinen (15/01/02-02/08/02)
Suomenlinnan Työsiirtola, Suomenlinna C 86, 00190 HELSINKI
§ Ari-Pekka Tamminen (06/01/02-20/07/02)
Laukaan vankila, PL 55, 41341 LAUKAA
§ Tomi Tolsa (04/12/01-10/06/02)
Haminan työsiirtola, Karjakatu 25, 49400 HAMINA

Israel

Since the escalation of violence in Israel/Palestine, the number of refuseniks increased considerably. At average, there are more than 40 COs in prison in Israel. They mostly receive sentences of 21 or 28 days, and receive a new call-up after their release. Check the WRI website (http://wri-irg.org) for updates.

§ Amir Samuel, Reserves Company (18/04/02-19/05/02)
§ Victor Sabranski, Military ID 7312440 (25/04/02-20/05/02)
§ Rafram Haddad, Military ID 5118505 (29/04/02-24/05/02)
§ Tomer Livneh, Military ID 5213558 (23/04/02-17/05/02)
§ Amit Grossman (30/04/02-25/05/02)
§ 1st Sgt. Michel Wexler (02/05/02-26/05/02)
§ Ro'i Sabbat (05/05/02-31/05/02)
Military Prison No. 4, Military postal number 02507, IDF

§ Shai Biran, Military ID 6993743 (25/04/02-20/05/02)
§ Yiftah Admoni, Military ID 6961658 (25/04/02-20/05/02)
§ Alon Dror, Military ID 7014088 (25/04/02-20/05/02)
§ Tomer Friedman, Military ID 6993743 (25/04/02-20/05/02)
§ Capt. Liron Eliasov (30/04/02-25/05/02)
Military Prison No. 6, Military postal number 01860, IDF

Korea, Republic of

There are presently around 1500 Jehovah's Witnesses in prison for conscientious objection. About 500 are jailed each year for an average of 3 years. More information is available from:

Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights, 152-053 402-ho yunyoung-building, 1127-33 guro3-dong gurogu, Seoul, Korea, tel. +82-2-851 9086, fax 851 9087, email peace@jinbo.net

State of Spain

Although conscription is not enforced any longer, some insumisios are still in prison.

§ Alberto Estefanía Hurtado (2 years 4 months, out 04/03/03)
§ Javier Rodríguez Hidalgo (2 years 4 months, out 20/02/04)
§ Óscar Cervera García (2 years 4 months, out 03/07/03)
Prisión Militar de Alcalá de Henares, 28870-Alcalá de Henares (Madrid)
§ José Ignacio Royo Prieto (2 years 4 months, out 04/03/03)
Prisión Provincial de Bilbao, Lehendakari Agirre, 92, 48870-Basauri (Bizkaia)
§ Jesús Belaskoain (2 years 4 months, out 08/08/02)
Centro Penitenciario de Pamplona, c/ San Roque s/n, 31.008-Iruna
§ Miguel Felipe Ramos (2 years and 4 months, out 28/05/03)
Centro Penitenciario Cáceres 1, Crta. De Torrejoncillo, s/n, 100001-Cáceres
All imprisoned for "insumision" (total objection) in the barracks; declaring their total objection after entering the military barracks.

§ Ander Eiguren Gandarias (out 28/01/03)
Prisión Provincial de Bilbao, Lehendakari Agirre, 92, 48870-Basauri (Bizkaia)
Imprisoned for nonviolent direct action (breaking into a military installation)

Switzerland

§ Marino Keckeis (15/01/02-14/06/02)
Haftanstalt Grosshof, Eichwilstrasse 4, 6010 Kriens
Conscientious objector, was not accepted as CO by the Swiss authorities. Went on hunger strike against imprisonment of COs.

Turkmenistan

In Turkmenistan no civil alternative to mili-tary service exists. Those who refuse con-scription face imprisonment under criminal law.

§ Yuri Yeremeyev (08/12/00-07/06/02)
§ Ilya Osipov (30/07/01-29/06/02)
Both are Jehovah's Witnesses, imprisoned for conscientious objection. Their prison addresses are not known.

Supporting COs in prison: co-alerts

War Resisters' International supports conscientious objectors who are imprisoned because of their conscientious objection, or face repression by the state or state-like entities. Co-alerts, sent out by email as soon as the WRI office receives information on the imprisonment or trial of a conscientious objector, are a powerful tool to mobilise support and protest.

Co-alerts are available by email (http://lists.wri-irg.org/sympa) or on the internet at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts.

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