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TURKEY: Ali Fikri Işık on trial this afternoon - more info and email alert

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  • Turkey
Alert:

UPDATE 28 October: the trial has been postponed, please continue to send the protest email until the new trial date - 5 November: send a protest email here.

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Yesterday we sent an alert for Turkish conscientious objector Ali Fikri Işık, including a fax to be sent to the court. We have more information this morning, including an appropriate email address for protests, so please send a protest email here.

Background

Fifty-six-year-old conscientious objector Ali Fikri Işık is due to appear in front of Çorlu Military court this afternoon - Wednesday 22 October - facing three separate charges of ‘desertion’ that could carry a prison sentence of around two-and-a-half years.

A hearing this afternoon at the Çorlu Military court will rule on three counts of desertion that Ali Fikri Işık is facing. Ali Fikri Işık has not presented himself for military service since 20 January 1993, although he was not arrested until 9 June 2012, when he was charged with ‘desertion’. He declared his conscientious objection on the day of his arrest, stating that he had been imprisoned and tortured in detention after the military coup in 1980 and he opposes militarism and “refuses to take part in the war”. During the first hearing of his case at Edirne Military Court on 14 August 2012, he repeated the reasons for his conscientious objection to military service in a declaration made in Kurdish. He was released from prison for two days (yol izni) on 17 October 2012 on the condition he join his unit (which he did not). On 15 November 2012 he presented himself to the Edirne Military Prosecutor, where he again told the authorities that he refused to perform military service.

On 27 February 2013, Ali Fikri Işık was sentenced to one year and 15 days in prison for one count of ‘desertion’. This sentence was later confirmed by the Military Appeals Court. He was detained the same day on another count of ‘desertion’, which he protested by going on hunger strike. He was released on 13 March 2013, but his prosecution on three counts of ‘desertion’ is continuing. He has in fact been declared ‘unfit for military service’ on 21 February 2014.

Solidarity

Send a protest email to the Minister of National Defence here. Please also continue to fax the court - find info on yesterday's CO Alert.

You can also send your email to the Turkish embassy where you live. Find a list here.

Hannah Brock, War Resisters' International