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Recognition of the right of conscientious objection
Connection e.V.
International Support of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters

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(27.09.2013) 
UN Human Rights Council: Conscientious objection to military service - Resolution of UN Human Rights Council
(17.07.2012) 
European Court of Human Rights: ECHR to Turkey: Judgment to Conscientious Objector Mehmet Tarhan
(05.07.2012) 
Conscientious objection to military service - Resolution 20/2 of UN Human Rights Council, July 5, 2012
(12.06.2012) 
European Court of Human Rights: ECHR to Turkey: Refusal to grant conscientious objector status is not necessary in a democratic society
(22.11.2011) 
European Court of Human Rights: The absence of an alternative to military service in Turkey is in breach of the right to conscientious objection
(13.11.2011) 
Minimum Standards for the Qualification of Refugees - Directive of European Union
(07.07.2011) 
European Court of Human Rights: Armenia: Imprisonment of conscientious objector violated Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights
(15.05.2011) 
Rudi Friedrich: Conscientious Objection, Desertion and Asylum
(14.05.2011) 
Conscientious Objection and Asylum - Handout for Reasoning Workshop in Jamaika
(02.05.2011) 
Rachel Brett: International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service
(30.03.2011) 
Sarah Paulsworth: Azerbaijan: Detention of Youth Activist Highlights Failure to Provide Alternative to Military Service
(01.12.2009) 
European Union: Fundamental Right to Conscientious Objection
(19.04.2004) 
Human Rights Commission: Conscientious objection to military service - Resolution 2004/35, 19 April 2004
(22.04.1998) 
Human Rights Commission: Conscientious objection to military service - Resolution 1998/77, 22 April 1998
UNHCR: Deserters and persons avoiding military service - From UNHCR Handbook

Recognition of the right of conscientious objection

Violations of Articles 3, 6 and 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

by European Court of Human Rights

The applicant, Mr Feti Demirtaş, is a Turkish national who was born in 1981 and lives in Istanbul. He was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness at the age of 20 and refuses to perform his military service. He has declared his willingness to perform alternative civilian service. Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Mr Demirtaş complained of an endless series of prosecutions and convictions on account of his refusal to wear military uniform. He also alleged that he had been subjected to various forms of inhuman and degrading treatment in Şirinyer military prison, in his military unit in Erzurum and in Balıkesir military prison. He further contended that his successive convictions for refusing to serve in the armed forces had amounted to a violation of Article 9 (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion). Relying also on Article 6 (right to a fair trial), he complained for being forced, as a civilian, to appear before a court made up exclusively of army officers.

Violation of Article 3

Violation of Article 9

Violation of Article 6 § 1

Just satisfaction: EUR 15,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 5,000 (costs and expenses)


European Court of Human Rights: Judgments concerning Austria, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mioldova, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Turkey. (ECHR 015 (2012)), January 17, 2012. Excerpt to Feti Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 5260/07). Original ruling in French.



Keywords:    ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Human Rights   ⇒ International Resolutions   ⇒ Prosecution   ⇒ Turkey

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