Cyprus: Continued concern about conscientious objectors: Iosif Kourides
Iosif Kourides, a Jehovah's Witness aged 28, was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment for refusing to perform compulsory military service by Nicosia Military Court on 21 December 1992. This is an unusually long sentence in comparison with sentences passed in 1990 and 1991; recent sentences for conscientious objection indicate a tendency towards harsher treatment of conscientious objectors. Legislation passed in 1992 recognized for the first time in Cyprus the right to conscientious objection and made provision for alternative service. However, the terms of the legislation fall short of UN and Council of Europe recommendations and are not acceptable to Jehovah's Witnesses. AI considers Iosif Kourides a prisoner of conscience.