GREECE: Recommendations at the UN Human Rights Council and European Court judgement highlight the urgent need for legislative reform on conscientious objection

Brussels, 14 October 2016

“In less than a year three different international human rights instruments have pointed out serious violations of human rights of conscientious objectors in Greece,” EBCO President Friedhelm Schneider underlined today. “This highlights Greece’s urgent need for legislative reform on conscientious objection, in order to comply with international human rights law and standards.” For this reason EBCO has decided to hold its next meeting in Athens, Greece (19 – 21 November).

ΕΛΛΑΔΑ: Οι συστασεις στο Συμβουλιο Ανθρωπινων Δικαιωματων του ΟΗΕ και η αποφαση του Ευρωπαικου Δικαστηριου υπογραμμιζουν την επειγουσα αναγκη για νομοθετικη μεταρρυθμιση οσον αφορα στην αντιρρηση συνειδησης

Βρυξέλλες 14/10/2016

«Σε λιγότερο από έναν χρόνο, τρία διαφορετικά διεθνή όργανα ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων επεσήμαναν σοβαρές παραβιάσεις ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων των αντιρρησιών συνείδησης στην Ελλάδα» υπογράμμισε σήμερα ο Πρόεδρος του Ευρωπαϊκού Γραφείου για την Αντίρρηση Συνείδησης (E.B.C.O.), Φρίντχελμ Σνάιντερ.

14th May: Meet conscientious objectors from across Europe

On Saturday 14th May, the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection are holding their annual meeting in London for the first time; join representatives of peace movements afterwards for an informal meeting at 7.30pm. It will be a chance to hear how we can support anti-conscription and conscientious objector movements today, as well as to discover how recognition of the rights of conscientious objectors in Britain in 1916 impacted campaigns in other countries.
When: Saturday 14th May, 7.30pm

Israeli Conscientious Objector Tair Kaminer goes to jail

Israeli Conscientious Objector Tair Kaminer goes to jail
Observing the situation of CO in the Mediterranean region EBCO forwards the following information received from easternmednetwork:

For more information please visit War Resisters International website

Memorandum to the Parliamentary Permanent Committee of National Defence and Foreign Affairs

The draft law which is currently under discussion, and article 12 in specific, fails to end the human rights violations and the injustice suffered by conscientious objectors for decades. In order to restore the rights of conscientious objectors and bring the Greek legislation in line with international law and international standards, but also in order to be able to offer to the society, we, conscientious objectors demand the following:

EBCO Annual Report “Conscientious objection to military service in Europe 2015”

Foreword by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President (download report)

In September 2014 Heiner Bielefeldt, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, speaking at a side event to the Human Rights Council, observed: “Conscientious objection to military service is a specific issue, but not a side issue!”.

Joint Submission by EBCO and the AGCO to the UN Universal Periodic Review

Joint Submission by the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and the Association of Greek Conscientious Objection (AGCO) to the UN Universal Periodic Review 25th session of the UPR Working Group, April/May 2016

Brussels municipality celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Belgian law on Conscientious Objection


The municipality of Watermaal-Bosvoorde (in Dutch) or Watermael-Boitsfort (in French), one the districts of the Brussels region, organized on Sunday 12 July 2015 a ceremony in the city hall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Belgian Conscientious Objection law. The first Belgian Conscientious Objectors were recognised in 1965.

Ελλαδα, δικη του αντιρρησια συνειδησης Σωτηροπουλου: Σταματηστε τους εκφοβισμους και προετοιμαστε το τελος της υποχρεωτικης στρατευσης

Αθήνα, 16 Ιουνίου 2015

Το Ευρωπαϊκό Γραφείο για την Αντίρρηση Συνείδησης (EBCO) (www.ebco-beoc.org) είναι σοκαρισμένο από αυτό που συνέβη σήμερα στο Αναθεωρητικό Στρατοδικείο Αθηνών, όπου ο Έλληνας αντιρρησίας συνείδησης Δημήτρης Κ. Σωτηρόπουλος κρίθηκε ένοχος και πάλι με την κατηγορία της ανυποταξίας και καταδικάστηκε σε 10 μήνες φυλάκιση με αναστολή μετά από μια σαφώς άδικη δίκη με προβληματικές διαδικασίες.

Greece, trial of conscientious objector Sotiropoulos: Stop the intimidations and prepare the end of conscription

Athens, 16 June 2015

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) (www.ebco-beoc.org) is shocked at what happened today in the Appeal Military Court of Athens, where the Greek conscientious objector Dimitris K. Sotiropoulos was found guilty again on an insubordination charge and was sentenced to 10-month suspended imprisonment after a clearly unfair trial with problematic procedures.

Greece: The time to end prosecution of conscientious objectors is now


“The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) urges the new government of Greece to finally turn the page and put a definite end to the scandalous prosecutions of conscientious objectors and the blatant violations of their human rights in Greece.

EBCO REPORT: Conscientious objection to military service in Europe 2014

Istanbul, October 2014, Researcher: Derek Brett
The researching of this report was enabled by a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, York, UK.

FOREWORD by Friedhelm Schneider, EBCO President
In 2014 we are looking back to numerous commemoration events which – often in a military-centered perspective – focus on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Aims of EBCO

The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (E.B.C.O.) aims:

1. To promote the right to conscientious objection to war preparations as a fundamental human right, on both national and international levels;

2. To obtain the legal instruments which make it possible to assert this right, these legal instruments being national legislation and international agreements, in particular the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

EBCO strongly condemns the continuous persecution of Greek conscientious objectors

Brussels, 05 june 2013
On Monday 3rd June 2013 Michalis Tolis, a 30-year-old total objector was arrested and brought to the police station of Ioannina. The charge against him is insubordination. He was transferred to Athens and brought before the Military Court of Athens on Tuesday 4th June. The trial was postponed to today, Wednesday 5th June. Alexia Tsouni will observe the trial on behalf of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection.

Saturday 1st June 2013 at 11:30, Conflict in Syria, back from the border, Can pacifists act?

Francesco Candelari, SG of IFOR , is just back from Libanon, on the border with Syria, where he met last weeks, together with Mairead Corrigan Maguire (Nobel Prize for Peace), several representatives of Syrian civil society in exile. What about nonviolent resistance movements in Syria, the civil society and the political actuality. Is a nonviolent response possible ?

Fr. Candelari has worked in the past as journalist and for the UN in New York.