Monday, 16 January 2012

Religion and the armed forces: Forthcoming decision at ECtHR

European Court of Human Rights set for key rulings...

Forthcoming case concerning right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion:


"Feti Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 5260/07)

The applicant, Mr Feti Demirtaş, is a Turkish national who was born in 1981 and lives in Istanbul. He was baptised as a Jehovah’s Witness at the age of 20 and refuses to perform his military service.

He has declared his willingness to perform alternative civilian service. Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Demirtaş complains of an endless series of prosecutions and convictions on account of his refusal to wear military uniform.

He also alleges that he was subjected to various forms of inhuman and degrading treatment in Şirinyer military prison, in his military unit in Erzurum and in Balıkesir military prison.

He further contends that his successive convictions for refusing to serve in the armed forces amounted to a violation of Article 9 (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion). Relying also on Article 6 (right to a fair trial), he complains of being forced, as a civilian, to appear before a court made up exclusively of army officers."

Council of Europe Press release
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