Sunday, June 08, 2014

European Court Says Turkey Mistreated Jehovah's Witness Conscientious Objectors

In Buldu and Others v. Turkey, (ECHR Second Section, June 3, 2014) (full text in French), the European Court of Human Rights held that Turkey violated the European Convention on Human Rights Art. 3 (inhuman and degrading treatment) and Art. 9 (freedom of thought conscience and religion) in its prosecution and conviction of four Jehovah's Witnesses who were conscientious objectors to military service. It also held that Turkey violated Art. 6, Sec. 1 (fair trial) as to one of the petitioners who complained that he had had to appear as a civilian before a court made up exclusively of military personnel. The court (in an appealable Chamber Judgment) awarded substantial amounts in damages to each petitioner. More information on the decision is available in the Court's English language press release, and from Law & Religion UK blog.