Turkey: Conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan is free!!

Anarchist gay conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan has been released today (March 9th, 2006) following the decision of the Military Criminal Court of Cassation located in Ankara. Mehmet has been in Sivas military prison since April 2005 and was sentenced to four years of imprisonment by the local military court. After the decision of the upper court calling for his release, he has taken to the local recruitment center and later in the evening he has been relased from there.

About a month ago ECHR has convicted Turkey to pay 11.000 euros for a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (about the prohibition of degrading treatment) on another conscientious objector Osman Murat Ülke's case. This decision was expected to have a positive impact on Mehmet Tarhan's case.

Mehmet Tarhan's struggle is widely supported by anti-authoritarians, anarchists, gays-lesbians and anti-militarists in Turkey and worldwide. Lots of campaigns has been organized in more than 15 countries including a day of international solidarity with Mehmet Tarhan.