Target: Ismet Yılmaz, Minister of National Defense
Goal: Prevent the imprisonment of a conscientious objector in Turkey
Ali Fikri Işık, a conscientious objector in Turkey, has been hauled into court and imprisoned several times before as a result of his refusal to participate in military service. His repeated trials and imprisonments violate the terms of international human rights treaties and infringe upon his rights to freedom of thought and expression. Sign the petition urging Turkish authorities to drop the charges against Işık and encouraging them to implement suitable alternatives to military service for conscientious objectors.
Işık’s long and complicated history of deserting or neglecting military service has led to several stints in jail. Even though he has made his stance as a conscientious objector very clear, he continues to be called up for military service, perpetuating a vicious cycle that ignores his human rights and eats up time and resources within the judicial system.
Turkey does not recognize conscientious objectors, which constitutes a violation of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). As party to these treaties, Turkey is obligated to respect its citizens’ rights to conscientiously object to military service. According to a 1995 resolution by the UN Commission for Human Rights, states must provide objectors with non-combat and non-punitive alternatives to military service. Turkey abides by no such rule.
Ali Fikri Işık has the right to object to military service; Turkey has no right to punish him for this. Sign the petition and demand that Turkey abide by international regulations dealing with conscientious objectors, and implore authorities to free Işık and drop all charges against him.
Dear Minister Yılmaz,
Once again, Ali Fikri Işık has been brought up before the court on charges of desertion. The only problem is that Işık has publicly and repeatedly asserted his status as a conscientious objector to Turkey’s martial activities. To prosecute him for desertion after that constitutes a violation of his human rights, specifically his rights to freedom of thought and expression. There is only one correct way forward, and that is to drop all the charges against him and free him unconditionally.
The rights of citizens to conscientiously object to military service has been confirmed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), both of which Turkey is party to. Conscientious objection is a manifestation of freedom of thought and expression, both of which are internationally recognized and protected human rights. The UN Commission for Human Rights resolved in 1995 that it was the obligation of the state to provide conscientious objectors with non-combat and non-punitive alternatives to military service. Turkey offers no such alternatives, putting it at odds with international human rights standards.
There is still time to make this right. Drop the charges against Ali Fikri Işık and implement new alternative measures for conscientious objectors.
[Your Name Here]
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