Issue 66 of WRI's newsletter The Broken Rifle has just been published as part of War Resisters' International's campaign for International Conscientious Objectors' Day, focusing on conscientious objection in Greece. Since the 1980s, International CO Day -- celebrated on 15th May every year -- has been an important day of action highlighting CO struggle. This year we are turning our attention to CO's in Greece and will be holding an International Nonviolence Training in Thessaloniki. Greece was the last EU country to recognise the right to conscientious objection when it finally did so in 1997. However, despite this recognition there are numerous problems with Greek CO law and practice which amount to discrimination against conscientious objectors. In this issue we will look at the history of CO in Greece, the reality of life for Greek CO's as well as the social implications of conscription and CO.
We have chosen Greece because of the especially difficult situation of Greek CO's but also in order to support the relatively new but flourishing CO and antimilitarism movement there. In addition, this year has seen increased international interest in Greece, for example in March the UN Human Rights Committee examined human rights abuses in the country. WRI was present on this occasion to address the Committee on Greek CO issues and the changes that need to be made if Greece is to comply with internationally recognised standards.
WRI are committed to raising awareness of antimilitarist and CO issues. I hope you will enjoy this edition of the Broken Rifle and that you will continue to support the work of WRI by donating generously.
Kat Barton, WRI Staff Member