On 24 January 2012, Halil Savda was arrested to serve a 100 days sentence for "alienating the people from the military", according to Article 318 of Turkish penal code, because on 1 August 2006 he publicly expressed his solidarity with Israeli conscientious objectors Itzik Shabbat and Amir Pastar, who were imprisoned for refusing to participate in Israel's war in Lebanon. In June 2008 Halil Savda received a sentence for this, which was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals in November 2010 and communicated to him in February 2011. This is not the first time that Halil Savda is imprisoned for reasons of conscience. He has also served a total of 17 months in military prison over a period of five years for his conscientious objection to military service in 2004. In 2008, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention came to the conclusion that these imprisonments were arbitrary (Opinion 16/2008). Halil Savda faces another six-month prison sentence for breaching Article 318, handed down in June 2010, which is being considered by the Supreme Court of Appeals, and because there are still other cases pending against him under Article 318. Considering that,
- The right to conscientious objection has been endorsed by the Council of Europe ever since 1967 when a first Resolution  on the topic was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly. The recognition of this right later became a requirement for states seeking accession to the organisation.
- Recently the European Court of Human Rights recognised in the case Bayatyan v. Armenia that the right to conscientious objection was guaranteed by Article 9 of the European Convention, protecting freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
We ask the European Commission:
1. What will do to safeguard the rights of conscientious objectors in Turkey and the release of Halil Savda?
2. Considering EU acquis and the accession requirements of Turkey, will the Commission ask for the abolishment of Article 318 of the Turkish Penal Code because it violates the right to freedom of expression, guaranteed also by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a state party.