Human Rights Defender Released in Turkey
(17.04.2012) Prisoner of conscience Halil Savda has been conditionally released from prison in eastern Turkey. He was released under new amendments to the law on the execution of sentences that make it possible for prisoners with less than a year of their sentence remaining to be conditionally released under supervision.
Halil Savda, who has regularly spoken out publicly against compulsory military service, had been in prison since 24 February 2012, serving a 100 day sentence for "alienating the public from military service". He was held hundreds of kilometres from his home, in the Doğubeyazıt district of the province of Ağrı in eastern Turkey. He was released from prison on 13 April, under the following conditions:
- That he must remain in his home province of Diyarbakır, southern Turkey, for the reminder of his sentence which is due to end on 3 June 2012, although he can make a request to visit his family in Cizre in two weeks’ time;
- That he must report to the local police station every day;
- That he must not commit the same offence during the remainder of his sentence and that, if he does, he will be returned to prison and will not benefit from conditional supervised release again for this offence.
Halil Savda has told Amnesty International that he received around 500 cards and letters while in prison, including from Amnesty International activists as well as supporters in Turkey. He said that these boosted his morale tremendously. He would like to thank all those who wrote to him.
Many thanks to all who sent appeals. Amnesty International will continue to campaign on behalf of Halil Savda through other means.
amnesty international: Human Rights Defender Released in Turkey. April 17, 2012. EUR 44/006/2012