EBCO General Assembly: Saturday 22 April 2023, Athens, Greece

Friday 21 April 2023:

Morning-Afternoon: Lobbying meetings & Press interviews.

18:00-19:30 Historical tour in Athens city centre, on the anniversary of the launch of the Greek military dictatorship (21 April 1967), highlighting the human rights violations and the struggle for freedom and justice. Co-organised by the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors and the Greek Section of Amnesty International. We meet at 18:00 at the metro station Megaro Moussikis (blue line), exit Vas. Sofias / Parko Eleftherias, and we start the tour with the following stops:

1) Museum of Anti-Dictatorship Democratic Resistance of the Association of Imprisoned & Exiled Resisters 1967-1974

2) (former) Medical Centre for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims

3) Greek Section of Amnesty International

4) Law School of the University of Athens

5) National Technical University of Athens.

Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/775970383759720

20:00: Dinner in greek tavern in Exarchia, where the students launched their non-violent revolution against the junta at the Law Faculty of the University of Athens and at the National Technical University of Athens in 1973.


Saturday 22 April 2023:

09:30-13:30: EBCO General Assembly *

13:30: Lunch

15:00-17:00: Joint meeting with the ObjectWar gathering in the framework of the #ObjectWarCampaign **

18:00 Joint public action #ObjectWarCampaign in front of the Greek Parliament, Syntagma square, Athens (metro station Syntagma), defending the right to protection and asylum for deserters and conscientious objectors from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in the ongoing war in Ukraine. Co-organised by EBCO, the ObjectWar gathering, and the Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors. Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/765909205121168

20:30 Dinner

22:00: Farewell party


Sunday 23 April 2023:

Morning: Filming stories of conscientious objectors in preparation of video for May 15th, international conscientious objection day.


* EBCO General Assembly - Saturday 22 April 2023 (09:30-13:30):


  1. Welcome and introductions.
  2. Approval of the minutes of the last EBCO GA meeting of 3 September 2022.
  3. Presentation of EBCO activities since September 2022.
  4. Approval of EBCO accounts 2022.
  5. Updates concerning:
    1. European and international institutions: European Union, Council of Europe, United Nations.
    2. European Youth Forum.
    3. Countries where the support of EBCO for discriminated or persecuted COs is in demand. Focus on Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey.
  6. EBCO Annual Report promotion, follow-up, and preparation of the next one.
  7. Object War Campaign.
  8. Information from member organisations about their activities and planning, and EBCO support.
  9. EBCO media strategy, membership strategy and vision.
  10. Any other business.
  11. Date (and place) of the next EBCO meeting in spring 2023.



  1. President: Alexia Tsouni (GR)
  2. Vice-President: Sam Biesemans (BE), Coordination with the European Parliament
  3. Vice-President: Merve Arkun (TU)
  4. Delegate European Youth Forum: Jyry Virtanen (FI)
  5. Tresurer: Jean Louis Vander Heyden (BE)
  6. Secretary General: Esa Noresvuo (FI)
  7. Communication Officer: Angelos Nikolopoulos (GR)
  8. Archives & history: Guido Grünewald (DE)
  9. Coordination with the Council of Europe: Friedhelm Schneider (DE)
  10. Coordination with the United Nations: Zaira Zafarana (IT)
  11. Russia representative: Alexander Belik (RU)
  12. Ukraine representative: Yurii Sheliazhenko (UA)
  13. Turkey representative: Hüseyin Civan (TU)
  14. Cyprus representative: Gina Chappa (CY) 
  15. Cyprus representative: Murat Kanatli (CY north)
  16. Greece representative: Yannis Chryssoverghis (GR)
  17. Switzerland representative: Piet Dörflinger (CH)
  18. Germany representative: Friedhelm Schneider (DE)
  19. France representative: Maurice Montet (FR)
  20. Netherlands representative: Hans Dijkman (NL)
  21. UK representative: Derek Brett (UK)
  22. Belgium representative: Ria Verjauw (BE)
  23. Italy representative: Carla Goffi (IT)
  24. Spain representative: Jordi Tolrà (E)


** ObjectWar gathering:

The ObjectWar gathering 2023 will bring together 30 conscientious objectors and antimilitarists from Russia, Finland and Greece, while we are still trying to bring some Ukrainians as well. This year it is organised in Athens, Greece, as the continuation of Baltic Glory peace exercise which was held in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Baltic Glory was from the very start the world’s only peace exercise of its kind and has grown to one of the biggest gatherings of antimilitarists in Northern Europe.


— anti-war networking of conscientious objectors and antimilitarists from Russia, Finland and Greece on the 20th and 21st of April. 
— joint meeting with the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) on the 22nd of April (15:00-17:00). 
— a joint public action and a farewell party on the 22nd of April.

— we resist the brutal attack to Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
— we support the human right to conscientious objection always and everywhere.
— we use a wide range of methods, strategies and tactics. Violence is not one of them.


#ObjectWarCampaign: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine: Protection and asylum for deserters and conscientious objectors to military service 

In June 2022, 60 organisations from 20 countries sent an appeal to the European Parliament, detailing why protection and support for deserters and conscientious objectors on all sides of the Ukrainian war is necessary and right. On April 6, 2022, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, had called on Russian soldiers to desert and promised them protection under refugee law. So far, this promise has not been fulfilled. Within the scope of #ObjectWarCampaign, a petition has been prepared for everyone to sign in, and it is addressed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola. The petition emphasises the need to uphold the right to asylum to conscientious objectors and deserters from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine by hosting states. We will hand over the signatures in a joint high-profile action in May 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.



Note: All times are local times (greek).