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(en) Turkey, Anarchist and Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan is free!!

Date Sat, 11 Mar 2006 14:01:25 +0200

Anarchist gay conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan has been released today
(March 9th, 2006) following the decision of the Military Criminal Court of
Cassation located in Ankara. Mehmet has been in Sivas military prison since
April 2005 and was sentenced to four years of imprisonment by the local
military court. After the decision of the upper court calling for his
release, he has taken to the local recruitment center and later in the
evening he has been relased from there.

About a month ago ECHR has convicted Turkey to pay 11.000 euros for a
violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (about the
prohibition of degrading treatment) on another conscientious objector Osman
Murat Ülke's case. This decision was expected to have a positive impact on
Mehmet Tarhan's case.

Mehmet Tarhan's struggle is widely supported by anti-authoritarians,
anarchists, gays-lesbians and anti-militarists in Turkey and worldwide. Lots
of campaigns has been organized in more than 15 countries including a day of
international solidarity with Mehmet Tarhan.
Ankara Anarsi Inisiyatifi <ank_aa-A-yahoo.com>
The latest news from Turkey is that conscientious objector, Mehmet Tarhan, is FREE!

Late Thursday evening, Mehmet Tarhan was taken from Sivas military prison --
where he was held since April 2005-- to a local recruitment center, where he
was released. Mehmet was sentenced to four years in prison in August 2005 for
refusing to serve in the military, and was repeatedly beaten and tortured by
military personnel. In Turkey, military service is mandatory for all men up
to the age of 40.

This sudden reversal by the Military Criminal Court of Cassation located in
Ankara, is in no doubt due to Turkey's recent conviction by the European Court
on Human Rights for inflicting degrading treatment on Osman Murat Ülke, a
conscientious objector who was imprisoned eight times for a total of 701 days
for refusing to serve. This decision by the ECHR was expected to have a positive
impact on Mehmet's case.

Mehmet had the support of anti-authoritarians, anarchists, gays-l esbians, and
anti-militarists in Turkey and worldwide. An International Day of Solidarity
was organized on December 9th, 2005, and saw demos around the world. Mehmet's
release is a victory for us all! Free all political prisoners!!
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