GR12008-091204 09/12/04 13:29
Conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis has a new trial on December 16th. He is accused of two draft evasions (1999 & 2003). Between September and November there were 4 attempts to arrest him.
Lazaros Petromelidis has been persecuted since 1992 when he declared his conscientious objection (before recognition of the right in 1997). He has been passed through a dozen trials, has been jailed 3 times and he is already sentenced to a 20 month suspended sentence.
If he appears in court to ask to postpone the trial, they can arrest him for more recent draft evasions. If he doesn't appear, they can sentence him in his absence. That means that he will not have the right to appeal. And that means that the suspension of his previous sentence (20 months) will automatically be cancelled and the authorities will seek to imprison him for 20 months + the new sentence that he will receive.
Lazaros Petromelidis is at high risk. War Resisters' International calls on people to send protest e-mails via: http://wri-irg.org/co/alerts/20041209a.html or letters to:
Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece Maximos Mansion ('Megaro Maximou') 19, Herodou Attikou str
GR-106 74 Athens
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate halting of the trial as it is in contradiction to Article 14 paragraph 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: "No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country."
Further information is available at http://wri-irg.org/co/cases/petromelidis-en.htm