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Disciplinary punishment for detained conscientious objector Enver Aydemir

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The Eskişehir Military Court imposed a one-month disciplinary punishment on Turkish conscientious objector Enver Aydemir because of his refusal to wear prison clothes and disobeying of orders, Bianet reported on 11 February 2010. For one month Enver Aydemir is not allowed to see anybody else but his lawyer.

Turkish conscientious objector Enver Aydemir is presently detained at Eskişehir Military Prison on the grounds of refusing military service based on his religious beliefs. His trial continued on 9 February 2010.

The court handed down a one-month disciplinary sentence on Enver Aydemir because he refused to wear prison clothes ever since he had not been provided with civilian clothes for a hearing on 21 January. The conscientious objector will not be able to see anybody but his lawyer for the duration of one month.

Enver Aydemir was arrested and detained on 24 December 2009 (see co-alert, 29 December 2009). Two cases were opened against him that were both tried before the Eskişehir Military Court on 9 February.

According to lawyer Davut Erkan, Enver Aydemir refused to attend the hearing in order to express his protest against the penalty and the court. However, he was taken to the hearing by force and dressed in civilian clothes.

Representatives of Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Association (İHD) followed the hearing. However, one of the observers was not allowed to the court room "by reason of his long hair".

In the hearing, Aydemir was accused of "disobeying orders by refusing to wear military clothes and carry ammunition" in the scope of the first trial. The hearing was conducted by two military judges and two military officers.

Enver Aydemir declared his opposition to the military. Afterwards, lawyer Erkan stated that the judges holding the previous session were not independent and that this was contrary to the law and the constitution. Therefore he reiterated his application to the constitutional court to cancel the previous decrees since they had not been in accordance with the constitution.

Furthermore, Erkan claimed that army officers should not be members of the court and that their presence was contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. The lawyer emphasized that this constitutes a violation of the right to a fair trial.

The hearing was attended by a medical expert who stated that Enver Aydemir's psychological situation was normal and not showing any signs of mental illness. Due to the expert's report, Enver Aydemir was considered fit for military service. This statement was accepted by the lawyer as well.

The court decided that Enver Aydemir is compelled to attend the coming hearing which was postponed to 2 April.

Subsequently, the court dealt with the second trial opened under charges of "insistence on disobedience by not fulfilling given orders and directives". This hearing was held by one judge only.

The prosecutor argued that the case should be tried by a proper court, and not before one judge only. The senior judge is going to communicate the results of the revision in the following hearing. The defence and objections will be the same as in the first hearing. However, a court delegation will review the matter and decide accordingly.

Investigation into torture allegations

At the same time, the investigation related to a criminal complaint filed by Enver Aydemir based on torture allegations in the Maltepe Military Prison is being continued. Lawyer Erkan was informed by the prosecutor last week that a statement on the matter was taken from Enver Aydemir. Erkan reported that an investigation concerning the alleged desertion of his client is being carried out as well.

Source: Bianet News: Disciplinary Fine for Detained Conscientious Objector Aydemir, 11 February 2010