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TC conscientious objector’s petition accepted by ECHR

6 August 2015

A conscientious objector who was jailed in the TRNC for refusing to report for reservist duty, has had his petition against Turkey for breach of human rights accepted by the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday.

Turkish Cypriot Murat Kanatli (above), who has refused to join the reservists since 2009, filed the case through his lawyer, Oncel Polili, on 6th July, and received confirmation of the case’s acceptance on Wednesday, he said.

“We filed against Turkey because in international law, northern part of Cyprus is considered to be the sub administration of Turkey,” Kanatli told the ‘Cyprus Mail’.

The case is based on breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, namely articles five, six and nine; the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion, respectively.

Kanatli was jailed for ten days in March last year following a military court ruling and he faces two more trials, opened in 2010 and 2011, one for every year he refused to appear for reservist duty.

He said he is optimistic about a ruling in his favour as in previous similar cases filed from other conscientious objectors against Armenia and Turkey, the plaintiffs won.

“My lawyer is going to apply for a rapid procedure so that the ruling is out before my trial and the trial of another conscientious objector, Haluk Selam Tufanli, are over,” he said.

Tufanli was also sentenced to ten days in prison last December after the end of a 13-month trial for his refusal to answer to a reserve call in 2011 and the second trial against him was adjourned until August 13.

On the same day, the continuation of the trial of another conscientious objector, Hilmi Hami, has been scheduled.

Cyprus Mail

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