Greek conscientious objector Georgios Koutsomanolakis (GR14732) has today been sentenced to two years' imprisonment by the Military Court of Athens. Koutsomanolakis has been arrested on 12 May on the Greek island of Rhodes, based on charges of insubordination dating back to 1979. He had fled Greece and has been granted political asylum in Germany in the 1980s. He was on the island of Rhodes on a visit to Greece (see http://wri-irg.org/news/htdocs/20050518a.html). During the trial at the Military Court of Athens, the prosecutor asked for a sentence of 1 year of imprisonment. However, the five judges went beyond this, and decided 5:0 for a guilty verdict and a sentence of 2 years' imprisonment. Koutsomanolakis is appealing against this sentence and will be released pending his appeal today. The appeal trial is expected to take place in autumn 2005.
War Resisters' International condemns this new sentence as a violation of the right to conscientious objection, and calls on the Greek authorities to immediately drop all proceedings against Georgios Koutsomanolakis and other conscientious objectors.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Greek authorities, and Greek embassies abroad. A list of Greek embassies can be found at http://www.mfa.gr/english/the_ministry/missions/. You can send a protest email to Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece, at http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20050523a.html.
War Resisters' International
Contact for protest letters:
Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece Maximos Mansion (?Megaro Maximou?) 19, Herodou Attikou str GR-106 74 Athens
Background information on CO in Greece: http://wri-irg.org/news/2005/icod05full-en.htmhttp://wri-irg.org/news/2…
Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts