ECHR to Turkey: Judgment to Conscientious Objector Mehmet Tarhan
(17.07.2012) The applicant, Mehmet Tarhan, is a Turkish national who was born in 1977 and lives in Sivas (Turkey). The case concerns his refusal to do military service because of his pacifist beliefs. Having refused to wear a uniform, he was held in custody in the military prison, where he was subjected to disciplinary penalties for refusing to have his hair and beard cut, which was ultimately carried out forcefully by seven soldiers. Criminal proceedings were brought against him. Since his desertion in March 2006, the police have been looking for him; he faces fresh criminal proceedings and custody. Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicant complained about the psychological violence that he had undergone and, under Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), about the non-recognition of the right to conscientious objection and the proceedings against him on that basis.
Violation of Article 3
Violation of Article 9
Just satisfaction: EUR 10,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 2,300 (costs and expenses).
European Court of Human Rights: Press Release, July 17, 2012 (ECHR 302 (2012). Excerpt to the judgment Tarhan v. Turkey (no. 9078/06). The jugdment is only available in French at http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-112199.