Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Greece*

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 3 December 2015, adopted by the Human Rights Committee at its 115th session (19 October-6 November 2015)

Conscientious objection to compulsory military service

37. The Committee reiterates its previous concerns about: (a) the length of alternative service for conscientious objectors, which is much longer than military service (see CCPR/CO/8 3/ GRC, para. 15); (b) the composition of the Special Committee and its reported lack of independence and impartiality, especially when hearings are held without all members present; (c) reports indicating discrimination on the basis of different grounds of objection to service; and (d) repeated punishment of conscientious objectors, in violation of the principle of ne bis in idem (arts. 14 and 18).

38. The State party should take measures to review its legislation with a view to recognizing the right to conscientious objection to military service, encompassing an alternative to military service that is accessible to all conscientious objectors and not punitive or discriminatory in terms of its nature, cost or duration. The State party should also avoid repetitive punishment in violation of the ne bis in idem principle and consider placing the assessment of applications for conscientious objector status under the full control of civilian authorities.

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