29 day of hunger strike for Turkish conscientious objector in military jail

Anonyme, Viernes, Octubre 28, 2005 - 09:19


Turkish gay conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan, now on 29th day of hunger strike in military prison, after being sentenced to four years for refusing to serve

Payday Action Alert 4

Turkish gay conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan, now on 29th day of hunger strike in military prison

Mehmet Tarhan was brutally assaulted by guards at Sivas military prison on Friday 30 September when he refused to have his hair cut. Mr Ali Düler, a prisoner who came to his aid, was also assaulted. Mr Tarhan said:

"Today, at 3pm non-commissioned officer Hilmi Savluk [prison warden], accompanied by three or four guards, told me that my hair was to be cut. Then seven or eight people using force and torture cut my hair and beard but they could not cut my moustache. Also a friend [Mr Ali Düler] from the ward faced a harsh intervention from the guards. After the "hair cut" torture, there is pain in my head, in both my hands, in my left arm because they stood on it, pain in my left foot, injuries and bruises on my arm and legs. I cannot turn my neck around because of pain in my face and neck ". Mr Tarhan has been on hunger strike since then – a month ago. Please urgently tell the Turkish authorities you support his protest. (See model letter below)

Background: In 2001, Mr Tarhan, declared his total conscientious objection to all wars and to any alternative to military service. He refused to be discharged from the military on the basis of his homosexuality, which the Turkish authorities view as an illness, saying this is "an expression of the rottenness of the militarist system itself." In order to certify men as gay the “rotten

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