Greece protects fundamental human right
Council of state upholds right of conscientious objection for reservist in Greece
ATHENS—The plenary session of the Council of State found that Evangelos Delis, who served in the Greek army in 1992 but who has since converted to being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, had the right to object to serving as a reservist in the military. When called up for reserve training, Delis requested that he be treated as a conscientious objector and, as such, be assigned to alternative civilian service. This request was denied by the authorities, who decided that a reservist did not have the right to make such a claim.
Citing Articles 13 and 5 of the Greek Constitution, Articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and Article 18 of the United Nations International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, on January 15, 2010, the Court stated that regulations for conscientious objection must be read in such a way that a person has the right to change his religion even after having served in the military and has the right to claim conscientious objector status.
The case was remanded to the Minister of National Defense and the State was ordered to pay Delis’s court costs. Delis was pleased with the decision and hopes that it will benefit other conscientious objectors both in Greece and in places like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and South Korea.
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Source: JW Media