Prison (again) for a Man of Peace in Turkey

Halil Savda (Photo Vedat Yıldız )

Halil Savda is in prison again.  On February 24, he was arrested in the town of Doğubeyazit, in Eastern Turkey, and sentenced to serve a hundred-day prison sentence.  His crime was to merely speak publicly in support of conscientious objectors.  This, according to Turkish law, constitutes “alienating the public from military service” and is a crime under Article 318 of the Turkish Penal Code.

This is not the first time that Halil has been imprisoned for his beliefs (a video on him, produced by Amnesty last year, is available here).   Over a five year period, he was imprisoned, often under harsh conditions, for a total of seventeen months for refusing to serve in the military (Turkey, along with Azerbaijan, is one of only two countries within the Council of Europe that does not respect the rights of conscientious objectors).