prison and society
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Oktober 2005

Mehmet Tarhan, ein Kriegsdienstverweigerer in der Türkei, befindet sich seit dem 08.04.05 im Miliaergefaengnis in Sivas. In Sivas gilt das Militaergesaetz, was unteranderem bedeutet:sich der Kleiderordnung zu unterwerfen, zusalutieren und kurze Haare zu tragen,etc. Im Militaergesaetz ist auserdem verankert, dass alle den Befehlen der Vorgesaetzten folge zu leisten haben.Ist das nicht der Fall, werden Strafmassnahmen durchgeführt. Die Anwendung physischer Gewalt ist verboten. Da sich Mehmet dem widersaetzt wird er fortwaerend bestraft z.B.:mit Isolationshaft.

Mehmet ist heute(30.09.05) zum zweiten Mal in Hungerstreik getreten. Zum vierten Mal wurden ihm unter Anwendung von massiver Gewalt die Haare sowie der Bart enfernt.

Er fordert:

1. die gerichtliche Bestrafung der sieben daran beteiligten Soldaten

2. Untersuchung eines unabhaengigen Arztes (da er mittlerweile auch körperliche Probleme hat)

Solange diese Forderungen nicht erfüllt werden wird der Hungerstreik andauern. weitere Infos unter: [  WRI website


Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan battered as his hair was violently cut by military prison authorities in Sivas. Mehmet has gone on indefinite hunger strike with the demands of getting civilian doctor examination, a report from a forensic medical facility documenting the torture and legal action against the perpetrators.

Mehmet Tarhan was arrested April 8, 2005, and taken from his hotel room at 5 am to the military unit in Tokat to be forced to do compulsory military service. Because he refused obeying any orders given to him (such as wearing a military uniform), he was arrested on the charge of “insubordination before the unit,” article 88 of Military Criminal Code. Same day, he was locked up in Sivas military prison and was subject to a lynching attempt by a group of prisoners encouraged by the prison authorities. His lawyers made press releases on May 24, 2005 and the lynch attempt was publicized. As a result of this, Mehmet’s hair and beard were forcefully and violently shaved by the prison administration. Also all his rights were revoked and he was isolated. Mehmet went on a 28 day hunger strike in protest of the revocation of his rights, from May 25 to June 21 when his demands were partially met.

At the third hearing of his trial on June 9, 2005, Mehmet was released and the trial was adjourned to August 4, 2005. Although he was released, with the instruction of ASAL (Head of the Department of Military Recruitment) Mehmet was sent again to the military unit. As Mehmet disobeyed orders there, he was arrested again and another law suit was filed on the charges of insubordination. At the joint hearing of both trials on August 4, he received an unprecedented verdict of 4 years (2 years for each case). The lawyers applied for appeals and are waiting for a court date. Even if the verdict changes at the appeals court and Mehmet gets released, he could be re-sent to the military processing office, from there to the military unit, arrested for insubordination and sent back to prison again. This vicious circle amounts to a tacit life sentence.

Meanwhile prison authorities continue to harass him by forcefully cutting his hair once every two weeks or so and taking arbitrary disciplinary measures for not cooperating, such as solitary confinement for sometimes 15 days on end; revocation of his rights to make phone calls, to receive reading materials and letters and see visitors during this period.

Yesterday (September 30), he was seriously battered by 7 or 8 guards under the excuse of giving him a haircut. As a result Mehmet went on hunger strike again.

"At about 3 pm today, accompanied by 3-4 guardians, the non-commissioned officer Hilmi SAVLUK told me that my hair was to be cut. Then with 7-8 people, by force and torture my hair and beard was cut but they were unable to cut my moustache. Also a friend from the ward faced a harsh intervention by the guards when he tried to resist the way they treated me. After the "hair cut" torture, there is pain on my face, in my left and right hands, pain in my left arm as they have mounted on it, pain in my left foot, injuries and bruises on my arm and legs. I cannot turn my neck around because of pain on my face and neck," says Mehmet.

Following the intervention, Mehmet went on an indefinite hunger strike with the following demands;

- Documentation of the torture via a medical report from forensic medicine under a civilian doctor's control,

- Starting legal action against the perpetrators,

- Provision of his needs during the hunger strike (salt, sugar, drinking water, juice, vitamin B1).

Hilmi Savluk, who replaced the previous prison warden Mustafa Selvi after the earlier torture/bashing/exaction events in Sivas Military Prison, is clearly perpetuating the abuse and torture in prison.

October 1, 2005: Latest Update

Mehmet was forcefully transferred to the military hospital today around 02:30 pm. His ward mate Ali who resisted Mehmet’s treatment earlier and received a harsh response, is also subject to further violence by prison authorities under the pretense of giving him a haircut. Ali has also gone on a hunger strike with similar demands as Mehmet’s.

As a response to the written petition prepared by his lawyers Suna and Senem demanding Mehmet’s transfer to a forensic medical facility, prison director Major Volkan phoned the sergeant on duty in prison and ordered Mehmet’s transferral to military prison.

Although Mehmet said that he refuses this and only accepts a transferral to a civil hospital, they told him this was an order and that they had to take him to a military hospital. Mehmet repeated his demands and declared that he will not let himself be examined there. But two doctors, one of them in camouflage wear, walked around him for about 10 minutes and prepared a report stating that there are no signs of battering.

Around 03:30 pm, he was back in prison. He said he feels very tired and weak and that his pains are increasing.

They also want to cut Mehmet’s ward mate Ali’s hair. He resists and they are using harsh interventions. They take him to the cell, do violence to him, and then take him back to the ward. Having received harsh blows to his head, Ali’s vision began blurring and his right side was numb around 5 pm. Around 6:30 he was transferred to the military hospital. They deemed he was battered and sent him to the university hospital. He fainted on the way there. At the university hospital two doctors examined him and gave a report stating he was battered When he went to the university hospital he was unconscious but he says it was around 9:30 pm. After the examination he was brought back to the prison. Since he had to be under observation because of the blow he received to his head, they stayed up all night.

Mehmet’s ward mate Ali is also on hunger strike and his demands are as follows:

1- Public exposure of the torturers and legal action against them

2- An end to torture aimed towards prisoners and detainees.

As of now they have vitamin B1, water, salt and sugar from the previous hunger strike that will last them for a couple days. But there is no juice. They tell them they don’t have any juice at the canteen and they don’t know when they are going to get it.

Please forward this message to friends and send protest faxes to the numbers below, especially the military prison, to show that Mehmet is not alone.

Sivas Military Prison

Fax: + 90 346 225 3915

Head of Chiefs of Staff:

Fax: + 90 312 425 0813

The Ministry of Defence:

Fax: + 90 312 417 6386

Office of the Head of the Republic:

Fax: + 90 312 427 1330

Office of Prime Minister:

Fax: + 90 312 417 0476

For more information in English see [  WRI website

JULY 2005

Party for Mehmet Tarhan

Escinsel Aktivist ve Vicdani/Total Retci Mehmet Tarhan´la Dayanisma Partisi

22.07. / Friday / / Berlin / Schwarzer Kanal / 21.ooh

The Turkish State has been for years more or less in a situation of war. This year the situation is beginning to escalate once more. The political climate in Turkey turned this year for another time more right. With this political process the situation of total objectors is becoming more and more difficult. Mehmet is now for more than two months because of his objection imprisoned. His liberation was frustrated by a new recruitment. The repetition of new recruitments and imprisonments can be infinite. So the only possibility to break this vicious circle is to build up international pressure.

Mehmet refuses to be discharged as homosexual. He wants protest against the homophobia in Turkish society. Homosexuality is being seen as affliction (“psycho sexual dysfunction”) and is therefore seen as reason for discharge. The conditions of Mehmets imprisonment are bad, he is exposed to violence, mistreatments and threats. To support Mehmet effectively Money for the journeys to the prison and the lawyers is needed. Therefore we make this party.

Mehmet icin özgürlük – Freedom for Mehmet

Location: Berlin / Schwarzer Kanal / Michaelkirchstr. 20 - 21 / Ubhf Heinrich -Heine-Strasse

[  Partyflyer.pdf

JULY 2005

[  Unterschriftensammlung: Freiheit für Mehmet Tarhan

04. JULY 2005

[  Dossier zum Fall Tarhan vom Connection e.V.

21. JUNE 2005
totalverweigerer mehmet weiter im knast

Totalverweigerer Mehmet Tarhan, der weiterhin im Militärknast in der Türkei verhaftet ist, hat heute nach Besuch von 2 zivilen Ärzten seinen Hungerstreik beendet. Totalverweigerer Mehmet Tarhan, der weiterhin im Militärknast in der Türkei verhaftet ist, hat heute nach Besuch von 2 zivilen Ärzten seinen Hungerstreik beendet.

Mehmet Tarhan wurde am 8. April 2005 verhaftet und das erste Mal zwangsrekrutiert. Schon 2001 erklärte er seine Kriegsdienstverweigerung aus politischer und ethische Überzeugungen auf einer Pressekonferenz des Menschenrechtsvereins IHD öffentlich. Der Anarchist Mehmet Tarhan engagiert sich seit Jahren in der schwullesbischen und der antimilitaristischen Bewegung. Seine Verhaftung ist also auch als Repression gegen seine aktive Beteiligung an verschiedenen antimilitaristischen Kampagnen zu sehen. Er hat seine Kriegsdienstverweigerung wiederholt und weiter zivilen Ungehorsam geleistet. In der Türkei gibt es, wie in Deutschland kein Recht auf Kriegsdienstverweigerung, allerdings auch keinen Zivildienst. Die einzige Möglichkeit sich dem Militärdienst zu entziehen, ist es sich als „krank“ ausmustern zu lassen. Mehmet akzeptierte keines dieser angeblichen “Rechte” wie ein Attest ("Psycho-sexuelle Störung: Homosexualität")und den Antrag für die Verschiebung des Militärdienstes. Er wiederholte, dass er kein Militärdienst leisten und dem Staat und den Staatsapparaten nicht gehorchen wird. Mehmet leistete im Kaserne weiter Ungehorsam, er hat verweigert, seine Haare und seinen Bart schneiden zu lassen und Uniform zu tragen.

Schließlich wurde er zum Militärknast in Sivas geschickt, mit der Beschuldigung “Bestehen auf der Ungehorsamkeit den Befehlen, um sich den Militärdienst zu entziehen”. Im Militärgefängnis wurde er von Anfang an anders als reguläre Inhaftierte behandelt. Unter die Anstiftung der Unteroffiziern und mit der Duldung der Verwaltung wurde er von den anderen Insassen angegriffen, zusammengeschlagen, bedroht und erpresst. Vor einem Tag des 2. Prozesstags, am 25 April, wurden seine Haare und Bart mit Gewalt geschnitten. Er hat am 26. April nach dem Prozess wegen der Gewalt und Diskriminierung mit einem Hungerstreik angefangen.

Am 9 Juni am 3. Prozesstag wurde er freigesprochen, blieb aber inhaftiert. Er wurde vom Militärknast zum Zentralkommandanten gebracht und am 13. Juni nochmals zwangsrekrutiert. Er hat den hungerstreik mit der Auffeorderung des Aufören von Gewalt und Diskriminierung und gleiche Rechte er wie die anderen Gefangenen sowie telefonieren, Besuch bekommen, von seiner AnwältInnen besucht werden können und von zivilen Ärzten untersucht werden.

Seine Situation spielt sich vor dem Hintergrund eines sich verschärfenden nationalistischen Klimas in der Türkei und einer erneuten Eskalation des Krieges in den kurdischen Gebieten ab. Das Militär benötigt ein aufgehetztes nationalistisches Klima um den Krieg weiter führen zu können, deswegen werden Menschen, wie Mehmet, die sich dem Krieg und der militärischen Logik entgegenstellen als Störfaktoren bekämpft. „Der Weg den Krieg zu beenden, ist es ihm die menschlichen Ressourcen zu entziehen“ (Mehmet Tarhan) Vor 6 Jahren war es möglich den Totalverweigerer Osman Murat Ülke aufgrund von massiven internationalen Protesten nach insgesamt zweieinhalbjähriger Inhaftierung mit wiederholter Zwangsrekrutierung freizubekommen. Es kann auch dieses Mal funktionieren die Freilassung von Mehmet Tarhan zu erwirken und über diesen Weg das Thema Kriegsdienstverweigerung in die Öffentlichkeit zu bringen.

[  indymedia.org

16. JUNE 2005
Update on conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan

Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan (see previous alerts at http://wri-irg.org/co/turkcampaign-en.htm) has been returned to the military prison in Sivas following his "release" from military prison on 9 June. To summarise the events: At the trial session on 9 June, the military judge ordered Mehmet Tarhan, who had been arrested in Izmir on 8 April, to be released.

Mehmet Tarhan, who is charged with Article 88 TACK (insubordination in front of the unit) had to be released, so the judge, because he already spent two months in prison, which is about the time he would have to serve in prison if finally sentenced. The trial itself was adjourned, but the date of the next trial session is not yet known. Mehmet Tarhan, who showed visible signs of physical weakness after suffering from abuse and threats by fellow prisoners and two weeks of hunger strike (which he started at the previous trial session on 25 May, in protest against the authorities' inaction following the reporting of the abuse), was transferred to the recruitment office. A decision to transfer him back to the military unit in Tokat was made by ASAL, the Central Office for Recruitment in Ankara, and Mehmet Tarhan was sent to Tokat on 10 June. He spent the weekend at the military unit, and was transferred back to Sivas on 13 June, where he spent one night at the military hospital, and was then sent back to the military prison in Sivas.

This is not only a violation of the human right to conscientious objection, but also a violation of Article 14 paragraph 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR): “No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure.” In 1999, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention already ruled against Turkey in the case of conscientious objector Osman Murat Ülke that every detention following an initial detention is arbitrary, and called on the Government “to take necessary steps to remedy the situation so as to bring it into line with the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (Opinion 36/1999) That the Turkish authorities, 6 years later, again ignore these basic principles of human rights highlights their ignorance of human rights.

Mehmet Tarhan is still on hunger strike, demanding his safety in prison and a treatment equal to other prisoners - for example, he receives letters late or sometimes not at all. He is now in the third week of his hunger strike.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Mehmet Tarhan. Mehmet Tarhan 5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi
Askeri Cezaevi
Temeltepe - Sivas

War Resisters' International calls for urgent protest faxes and emails to:

- General Staff of the Turkish Military: Fax +90-312-4250813

- Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr

A protest email to the Turkish President Ahmet Nezdet Secer can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050616a.html .

* Sivas Military Prison
5. Piyade Egitim Tugayi
Askeri Cezaevi
Temeltepe - Sivas
Fax +90-346-2253915
* Central Office for Recruitment Ankara
Fax +90-312-4193674
email msbasal@asal.msb.gov.tr
A protest email can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050616b.htm .

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Mehmet Tarhan and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.

[  wri-irg.org

10. JUNE 2005
Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan released from prison - but not from the military

The trial session today of conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan (TK14724) in Sivas in Turkey ended with a small surprise: the military judge ordered Mehmet Tarhan, who had been arrested in Izmir on 8 April, to be released. Mehmet Tarhan, who is charged with Article 88 TACK (insubordination in front of the unit) had to be released, so the judge, because he already spent two months in prison, which is about the time he would have to serve in prison if finally sentenced. The trial itself was adjourned, but the date of the next trial session is not yet known.

Mehmet Tarhan, who showed visible signs of physical weakness after suffering from abuse and threats by fellow prisoners and two weeks of hunger strike (which he started after the last trial session on 26 May, in protest against the authorities inaction following the reporting of the abuse), was transferred to the recruitment office, which decided to transfer him back to the military unit by military police. It is expected that he will be brought to Tokat today.

This means, the cycle of military order, refusal, prison and trial will start again immediately - a cycle, which is in violation of international legal standards. In the case of Turkish conscientious objector Osman Murat Ulke the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decided in 1999 (Opinion 36/1999) that any detention of a conscientious objector after an initial detention following a first act of refusal is "arbitrary, being contrary to article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

Given the history of abuse and illtreatment of Mehmet Tarhan during his time in the military prison in Sivas, War Resisters' International is extremely concerned that this illtreatment will resume on Mehmet Tarhans return to the prison in Sivas in the next days.(....)

[  wri-irg.org

MAI 2005

[  FEAR OF TORTURE / Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan abused by other prisoners

[  Sorge um die Unversehrtheit und das Leben von Mehmet Tarhan

[  Freiheit für Mehmet Tarhan - Solidarität mit den Totalen Kriegsdienstverweigerern in der Türkei

[   Mehmet liebt Baris! -
   von KAOS GL

[  download: Conscientious objection in Turkey.pdf

APRIL 2005

[  Verhafteter Kriegsdienstverweigerer mittlerweile im Hungerstreik - Freiheit für Mehmet Tarhan

[  Mehmet Loves Baris,: Free the total objector Mehmet Tarhan
   by www.anarsi.org

[  mehmet`s decleration / german
   if you sroll down you will find the declaration in english

[  Presserklärung der gruppe connection. e.V.

[  more information about the situation of war resister in turkey  / german
   click: connection-ev.de

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