Press release – 249(2009)
Turkey: No improvement in the situation of the conscientious objector despite judgment of the European Court
Strasbourg, 25.03.2009 – The Committee of Ministers last week adopted a second Interim Resolution in the case of Ülke. In this case the European Court of Human Rights found that the applicant’s repeated convictions and imprisonment for having refused to perform compulsory military service on account of his beliefs as a pacifist and conscientious objector amounted to degrading treatment in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Despite the European Court’s judgment, the applicant was summonsed in July 2007 to present himself in order to serve his outstanding sentence resulting from a previous conviction. He is at present in hiding and is wanted by security forces for execution of his sentence.
In its Interim Resolution, the Committee of Ministers strongly regretted that, despite the Committee’s first Interim Resolution, no concrete steps have been taken by the Turkish authorities to bring to a close the continuing effects of the violation. Therefore, the Committee strongly urged Turkey to take without further delay all necessary measures to put an end to the violation of the applicant’s rights. It further urged Turkey to make the legislative changes necessary to prevent similar violations of the Convention.
The Committee will continue examining the implementation of the Ülke case at each human rights meeting until the necessary urgent measures are adopted.
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Under the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court’s judgments require the adoption by the respondent states, under the Committee of Ministers’ supervision, of all measures necessary to grant the applicants appropriate redress and to prevent new similar violations in the future.
Further information on the execution of judgments by member states, including the Committee of Ministers’ annual report for 2007 on its supervision of judgments – are available at www.coe.int/t/cm/home_en.asp and www.coe.int/Human_rights/execution.