The Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors expresses its support and solidarity with its member, Mr Babis Akrivopoulos, who is awaiting trial for “insubordination” on 15 April 2008.  Mr Akrivopoulos has publicly declared his refusal to be drafted in the Greek Navy on ideological grounds (his statement follows).

The Association also condemns the morally deplorable and legally questionable practice of the Greek military justice authorities to court-martial (not-yet enlisted) civilians on the grounds of insubordination”. The Association believes that such practices – unfortunate leftovers from darker eras of our history, when military courts had jurisdiction over civilian matters – violate the civil and human rights of Greek citizens.   


Statement by Mr Babis Akrivopoulos:  

Athens, 10 April 2008  

On 15 April, I am summoned to appear before the Navy Court to stand trial on the charge of “insubordination during peace time”. Being a civilian, and not a soldier, I view this court-martial summon as illegal and undemocratic and therefore I do not intent to appear in court nor to be represented by a lawyer.

As a pacifist and a conscientious objector I do not acknowledge any crime of “insubordination” neither during “peace”, nor “war”, nor at any other time for that matter. I do not want to offer unpaid work to the state in the form of a military service and, of course, in case of war, I cannot take arms and kill people under orders. In my opinion, the armed forces as a whole is nothing more than a mechanism of irrational war mongering in which I totally refuse to participate. The only commitment I can offer is to remain firm in my deeply-rooted ideology and practice of non-violence and to work towards the ideal of a peaceful coexistence for all humanity, free from every form of chauvinist and militaristic barbarism. 

Babis Akrivopoulos

Member of the Greek Association of Conscientious Objectors 

Mr Babis Akrivopoulos, 32, has been a total conscientious objector since 2004. He refused to be drafted in the Greek Navy for his one-year obligatory military service on the grounds of his non-violent & pacifist beliefs.