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Turkey: Update to Conscientious objector İnan Süver
by The Initiative for Solidarity with İnan Süver
In Turkey, one of the three countries in European Council that does not recognize the right to conscientious objection, objectors are tortured in prisons or forced to live a "civil death". Despite this, for years they have refused to go into the army in order to dry up the human resources needed for war and they have continued to cry "Do not go into the military, do not shed the blood of your brother."
Moreover, they organize actions and activities against violence, against a male-dominated world and against war and militarism.
İnan Süver is one of those conscientious objectors. He says of himself "I have been consistently and stubbornly forced to be a soldier since July 23rd, 2001. However I am a father of three/a construction worker/a person who has neither chased any neighbor’s chicken nor beckoned anybody’s cat/never intentionally hurt an ant/always supported the weak, the underdog (even in football I have always supported the team that got relegated)/who never cares about ruling someone and never accepts the rule of another/a person who was born alone/who knows that he will be buried alone/and who wants to live accordingly. As this is the case, I cannot and will not go into the military service, into the war or the so-called art of war, in which
17 000 people have been murdered and whose murderers remain unknown/4000 villages have been set on fire/millions have become poor and starving as a result of forced immigration from their villages and homelands to cities/in which 50 000 young people have been killed/brothers have been turned into enemies, turned against each other/millions of young men have developed psychological problems and thousands were driven to suicide. And I also do not want young boys, boys in the prime of their lives, who are still their mothers’ babies, to do it."
Since 2001, İnan Süver has been forced into a vicious circle, the cycle of deserting the army- being arrested - first being sent to military prison then to the army (being tortured in the meantime) - refusing to hold a gun - deserting again... When he came across an antimilitarist website he said to himself "Without knowing it, I have been a conscientious objector for years". Shortly after he publicly declared his conscientious objection. However this did not stop the vicious circle. On August 5th, 2010 he was arrested in his home on an outstanding warrant for desertion. He has been in prison since then.
For some time, he was put into a cell where, according to his description, there were rats and beds covered in blood. Telling his wife, "I have not committed any crime, so why am I in prison" he broke out of prison on April 21st, 2011. When he was re-arrested the following day, İnan Süver started a hunger strike that lasted for 23 days. As his health conditions became very serious ended the strike and was sent to hospital. However two days later, on March 16th, he started his hunger strike once again. After breaking out of prison, he had already been transferred from a semi-open prison to a closed one.
According to latest news, he was put into solitary confinement on May 23rd. The conditions of his imprisonment worsen day by day. We are seriously concerned for the life of İnan Süver, whose health had already deteriorated after previously undergoing torture in military prisons and due to the conditions imposed through "civil death" that has been forced upon him since 2001.
As for the penalties he faces... He was sentenced to 25-months’ imprisonment for three cases of desertion before 2007. For his desertion in 2007, the trial continues and the possibility that he will be sentenced is high. His trial for military insubordination also continues and a trial on his recent escape from prison will begin soon.
Under such conditions İnan Süver’s freedom seems to be a dream. We believe that everybody and every group can do something to help change this situation. We call on them for solidarity.
The Initiative for Solidarity with İnan Süver: Conscientious objector İnan Süver - "I haven’t committed any crime, so why am I in prison?". May 25, 2011. Source: http://inansuvereozgurluk.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-havent-commited-any-crime-so-why-am-i.html