Turkmenistan: Conscientious objector Navruz Nasyrlaev sentenced to two years in prison
(10.02.2010) Nasyrlaev, the son of a baptised Jehovah’s Witness who has not yet himself been baptised, is from the northern town of Dashoguz. He was called up in March 2009 on reaching the age of 18, Jehovah’s Witnesses told Forum 18, but on three occasions refused to serve in the army because of his beliefs. A criminal case was lodged against him and he was tried on 7 December 2009 at Dashoguz City Court. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in a general regime labour camp.
European Court of Human Rights Judgment Ülke v. Turkey
Prosecution of conscientious objector violates Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights
The Court considers that, in the present case, the applicant’s successive convictions, and the continuing liability to prosecution that he faces for refusing to wear uniform on account of his philosophical beliefs, have certainly placed him in a situation of humiliation or debasement. In the present case, the numerous criminal proceedings brought against the applicant, the cumulative effects of the ensuing criminal convictions and the constant alternation between prosecution and imprisonment, together with the possibility that he would face prosecution for the rest of his life, are disproportionate to the aim of ensuring that he performs his military service. The court unanimously holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention; holds that it is not necessary to examine separately the applicant’s other complaints under Articles 5, 8 and 9 of the Convention.