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Greek professional soldier imprisoned for refusing to go to Iraq
18 set 2004
For the first time a Greek professional soldier refuses to join a war mission. During the attack on Iraq, seaman apprentice Giorgos Monastiriotis refused to embark on the battleship "Navarino" that was leaving for a mission in the Persian Gulf. A few days ago, 16 months after the war he was courtmatialled and imprisoned.


Committee for Solidarity with Soldiers, Greece


            On September 13th,  seaman apprentice Giorgos Monastiriotis, member of the crew of the battleship “Navarino? was court-martialed and sentenced to 3 years and 4 months imprisonment for his refusal to follow the ship to his mission in the Persian Gulf during the war on Iraq. It is important to stress that this happened 16 (!) months after his refusal.

            This sentence comes in a period when there are no more doubts about the motives and the consequences of this war.

            The dead bodies of Iraqi civilians, the tortures of the American warders in Abu Ghraib prison, the unjustified attacks against Iraqi cities justify the refusal of Giorgos Monastiriotis to take part in the war. His attitude is also absolutely in accordance to the will of the people in Greece and all around the world that demonstrated against this war, 16 months ago.

            The Greek government and the military leadership share part of the responsibility for this war. After the war, the social democratic government received a “thanks? from the US. Nowadays, the new conservative government prepares to send Greek military forces to Iraq.

            Until a few years ago it was requested from the soldiers to “obey orders without thinking?. Today it is required from them to “kill without thinking?. In such an army, attitudes such as the one of Monastiriotis do not fit and have to be punished. It seems that their vision for the country and its army is even worse than the reality of Israel where soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories are sentence to 2-4 weeks imprisonment.


The struggle for the liberation of Giorgos Monastiriotis concerns the antiwar movement and all people that took part in the demonstrations and actions against the war on Iraq.





Committee for Solidarity with Soldiers, Greece


                  Telephone: +30 6946455596


Please send letters of protest to the minister of National Defense:   





Since three days I am imprisoned in the prison of Korinthos. I am accused of desertion because I refused – with a public statement in 08/05/2003 – to follow the battleship “Navarino?, where I was serving as a 5 – year professional soldier, to its mission in the war on Iraq. In the morning of 13/09/2004, I presented myself on my free will to the naval court of Pireus hoping that the whole issue would be over. I was arrested, sent to the court and sentenced to 3 years and 4 months of imprisonment. The same morning I read in the newspaper that an American military that confessed to torture Iraqi prisoners was sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment.

My attitude was crystal clear from the beginning. I refused and I still refuse consciously to take part or to support in any way the merciless slaughter of the Iraqi people, the bombing of maternity clinics and open markets. I refused and I refuse to enter the dead end of violence and insanity. With my participation in the antiwar movement I joined my voice with the voices of millions of people from all around the world against the horror of war. My act was the least act of solidarity to the people that experience this situation. I choose not to acquiesce in this insane terror, not to compromise with the end of history.

I paid and I am still paying the price. However, I am sure that except for the justice of the state that convicted me, there is the justice of the people – the Greek people that crowded the streets during the demonstrations against this dirty war. This justice is more real and more important and has not given its verdict yet.


Prison of Korinthos, 15/09/2004



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