Stop the persecution of conscientious objectors in Greece

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Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Dear Mr Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece,

I am very concerned to hear about the regression of Greece in relation to conscientious objection.

Conscientious objection to military service is recognised as a human right, derived from Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Greece is a signatory.

Yet, in the last six months, at least six conscientious objectors have been tried or retried in Greece. Lazaros Petromelides, Nikolaos Karanikas, Michalis Tolis, Dimitris Sotiropulos, Menelaos Exioglou, Charalabos Akrivopoulos.

They have been fined, given suspended sentences, and detained. One, Lazaros Petromelides, has already been imprisoned three times. The fine he received is in contradiction to Article 14 paragraph 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: "No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country." Lazaros is also above the age at which people are obliged to join the armed forces.

I urge you to live up to international standards around conscientious objection, and halt this new wave of prosecutions against conscientious objectors in Greece.

Yours sincerely,