GREECE: A wave of COs repeatedly punished


The last six months have seen a rapid increase in the persecution of conscientious objectors in Greece. At least six conscientious objectors have been tried or retried, with a range of results. They are Lazaros Petromelides (pictured), Nikolaos Karanikas, Michalis Tolis, Dimitris Sotiropulos, Menelaos Exioglou, Charalabos Akrivopoulos.

Please send a protest email through /GreeceJune2013

Background information
The most recent actions were against 46-year old conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelides.

Lazaros declared his conscientious objection over twenty years ago, in March 1992, at a time when Greece did not recognise the right to conscientious objection (they did so in a limited way in 1997).

He has faced over a dozen trials, and has already been jailed three times. Having been arrested on 20th June, he received a 5431 euro fine in lieu of a 1.5 year prison sentence. 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 conscription in Greece ends.

A full list of the most recent events for Greek conscientious objectors can be found here and here.

Lend your support
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Greek authorities, and Greek embassies abroad. An email letter to Greek Prime Minister can be sent at /GreeceJune2013.

A list of Greek embassies abroad can be found here.

War Resisters' International calls for the cessation of prosecutions against conscientious objectors.

Hannah Brock
War Resisters' International