Annual Report: Greece 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Greece 2013

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Conscientious objectors

Repeated prosecutions of conscientious objectors continued.

  • In February, the Athens Military Court convicted 49-year-old Avraam Pouliasis, one of the first conscientious objectors in Greece, to six months' imprisonment, suspended for three years. Avraam Pouliasis was no longer obliged under the law to serve his military service as he was over 45.

Prison conditions

During the year, the European Court of Human Rights found Greece in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights in three cases, due to poor detention conditions in the prisons of Ioannina, Korydallos and at the detention facility of Thessaloniki Police Headquarters.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression was threatened on several occasions.

  • In November, Kostas Vaxevanis, a journalist and magazine editor, was put on trial in Athens for breach of privacy, after he published the names of 2,000 Greeks alleged to have private bank accounts in Switzerland and called for investigations into possible tax evasion. He was acquitted after a day's hearing. The Prosecutor's Office of the Athens First Instance Courts appealed, and Kostas Vaxevanis was referred for trial before the Athens Misdemeanours Court.
  • In October, members of extreme Christian groups and the far-right party Golden Dawn, including some MPs, tried to prevent the premiere of the play Corpus Christi, by verbally abusing and threatening the actors and members of the audience. In November, the people who had staged the play were charged with blasphemy.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited the country in January, July and October.
  • Police violence in Greece: Not just ‘isolated incidents' (EUR 25/005/2012)
  • Greece: The end of the road for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants (EUR 25/011/2012)