About 400 conscientious objectors to military service were held; all were prisoners of conscience. Legal proceedings continued in the cases of 14 people prosecuted for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. There were further reports of ill-treatment by police. Continuing political tensions between Greece and its neighbours – Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey – were reflected in domestic policies. In August and September Greece expelled at least 70,000 Albanian nationals following the trial of five ethnic Greeks in Tirana, Albania (see Albania entry). Members of the Macedonian and Turkish minorities in Greece were tried for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. There is no alternative civilian service for conscientious objectors to military service. About 400 Jehovah's Witnesses who refused to perform military service on religious grounds continued to serve sentences of up to four years and eight months' imprisonment. All were prisoners of conscience. However, conscientious objectors were given the possibility of halving their sentences by working in agricultural prisons. As an indirect consequence of a new law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding, about 90 conscientious objectors were released in mid-1994 from the agricultural prisons of Kassandra and Kassavetia. However, 76 of the men released as a result of the law received new call-ups for military service due to start in April 1995. Arrest warrants were issued against three conscientious objectors who were not Jehovah's Witnesses, but these had not been enforced by the end of the year. Some 80 other conscientious objectors who were not Jehovah's Witnesses publicly declared their opposition to military service but were not imprisoned. Legal proceedings continued in the cases of 14 people who had been prosecuted as a result of their criticism of government policies on ethnic minorities and foreign affairs (see Amnesty International Report 1994). In January the Court of Appeal dropped the charges against four members of the Antipolemiki Antiethnikisti Syspirosi, Anti-War Anti-Nationalist Movement, as well as those against Christos Sideropoulos and Anastasios Boulis on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. However, Christos Sideropoulos faced further charges (see below). The appeal hearings of Michail Papadakis and of six members of the Organosi gia tin Anasingrotisi tou Kommounistikou Kommatos Elladas (OAKKE), Organization for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece, had not been heard by the end of the year. In April criminal charges against Sadik Ahmet, a former member of parliament, were dropped (see Amnesty International Report 1991). The charges had been brought following an article published in the newspaper Güven in November 1989 in which he alleged that the ethnic minority which he described as "Turkish" were subjected to discrimination and repression. Proceedings against him had been suspended between April 1990 and September 1993 because of parliamentary immunity. In September the trial of Christos Sideropoulos was postponed until September 1995. He had been charged in November 1993 with "spreading false information which may cause disruption of the international relations of Greece" because of a statement he had made at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the meeting on minority rights of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) in June 1990. He had declared that he belonged to the Macedonian ethnic minority living in Greece and that his cultural rights were being violated. Allegations of ill-treatment by police were received throughout the year. For example, in February Charalambos Kabiotis was arrested by police officers from the Attica Security Force for suspected possession of a small quantity of drugs. He alleged that the police officers handcuffed and beat him in the street before taking him to a bar owned by his girlfriend where they continued to beat him, particularly on the head and chest, in front of witnesses until he almost lost consciousness. His girlfriend also alleged that she was insulted, punched and beaten by the police officers. There were allegations of ill-treatment of Albanian nationals in the course of mass expulsions during August and September. Ilia Makta, an Albanian from Fier who came to Greece in about 1990 and was working legally in Kalamata, alleged that a few days before his expulsion in September he was called to Kalamata police station where the Chief of Police tore up his authorization papers. He was then put in a cell and allegedly beaten by police officers before being expelled. In April Amnesty International submitted information about its concerns regarding torture and ill-treatment in Greece to the UN Committee against Torture, pursuant to Article 20 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Its report, Greece: Torture and Ill-treatment, Summary of Amnesty International's principal concerns, documented cases of ill-treatment in police custody, allegations of brutality by the riot police, and ill-treatment of conscientious objectors and Albanian nationals. It also reported the failure of the Greek authorities to investigate past allegations. The Committee expressed its concern that the practice of severe ill-treatment seemed "to be an ongoing problem occurring in some police stations" and recommended that the legislation designed to prevent the ill-treatment of detainees be fully implemented. In November the government authorized the publication of the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The report, based on visits to prisons and police establishments in March 1993, documented cases of ill-treatment and torture, including the alleged use of electric shocks, corroborating information published by Amnesty International in 1992 (see Amnesty International Report 1993), and made specific recommendations for safeguards to protect detainees and improve conditions of detention. The government's preliminary reply stated that it had implemented or would implement some of the recommendations. In June Amnesty International published a report, Greece: Christos Sideropoulos, Ethnic Minority on Trial. The organization called for the charges against Christos Sideropoulos to be dropped.

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