Greece: 5,000 years of prison: conscientious objectors in Greece

Greece: 5,000 years of prison: conscientious objectors in Greece

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Index Number: EUR 25/007/1993
Date Published: 1 March 1993
Categories: Europe And Central Asia, Greece

Since the 1930s Greek conscientious objectors have collectively spent more than 5,000 years in prison. Despite numerous promises, successive Greek governments have failed to bring legislation into line with international standards. The majority of conscientious objectors are Jehovah's Witnesses, and their religious ministers have faced particularly discriminatory treatment by the military authorities. Despite legislation passed in 1988 permitting religious ministers of recognized religions exemption, the military authorities have refused exemption to Jehovah's Witness ministers. Cases cited include Daniel Kokkalis, Dimitris Tsirlis, Timotheos Kouloubas and Tasos Georgiades. Other cases include Michalis Maragakis, Thanasis Makris, Nikos Maziotis and Pavlos Nathaniel.


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