Sentencing of conscientious objector Giorgos Monastiriotis
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Mr Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece). 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 Prime Minister Mr Kostas Karamanlis
I am very concerned about the recent sentencing of conscientious objector Giorgos Monastiriotis. I learned today that Giorgos Monastiriotis was sentenced on 17th January to 5 months in prison, for refusing to participate in a Navy operation which was part of operation "Enduring Freedom" in May 2003.
The Hellenic Republic does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers, contrary to numerous resolution by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the Council of Europe. The right to conscientious objection is universal, and professional soldiers too can develop a conscientious objection, and should then be provided with the option to be discharged from the military. As Greece does not provide this option, Giorgos Monastiriotis did not have any other choice than to declare his resignation from the Navy unilaterally. His sentencing to 5 months imprisonment is a serious violation of his human right to conscientious objection.
In addition to this, Giorgos Monastiriotis has already been sentenced for this aforementioned 'offence' and this second sentence for the same offence is therefore in contradiction to Article 14 paragraph 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that: "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 stop the proceedings against Giorgos Monastiriotis, and to immediately discharge him from the Navy. I urge you to respect human rights.