Cyprus: Reimprisonment of conscientious objector Athinakis Zinonos (please note corrected name)

On 14 December 1992, Athinakis Zinonos, aged 22, was jailed for the second time in two years for refusing, on grounds of conscience, to perform compulsory military service by the Military Court in Nicosia. He is a prisoner of conscience. In comparison with sentences passed in 1990 and 1991, this sentence is unusually harsh; recent sentences given to conscientious objectors indicate a trend towards harsher treatment of these cases. 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 Council of Europe and UN recommendations and are also not acceptable to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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