Trial of Greek conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Mr Kostas Karamanlis, 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 Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece
I am very concerned about the sentencing of conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis. On 16 December, he has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years imprisonment for two draft evasions (1999 & 2003). Between September and November there were 4 attempts to arrest him, and he is now in danger of being arrested.
Conscientious objection 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.
Lazaros Petromelidis has been persecuted since 1992 when he declared his conscientious objection (before recognition of the right in 1997). He has been passed through a dozen trials, has been jailed 3 times and he is already sentenced to a 20 month suspended sentence.
This new sentence 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."
I therefore urge you to drop all charges against Lazaros Petromelidis, and to halt the continueing persecution of conscientious objectors in Greece.