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Greek NGO Wants End to Oath

orkos_dikastiriaThe European Court of Human Rights will hold a hearing on Jan. 8 regarding an appeal made by Greek Helsinki Monitor, which is calling on the abolishment of requiring witnesses in court to swear a religious oath before testifying.

The members of the non-Governmental Organization who are appealing are, Panayotis Dimitras, Andrea Jilbert, Nikolaos Milonas, Gregoris Vallianatos, Evaggelia Vlami, Antonia Papadopoulou, Nafsika Papanikolatou and Dimitris Tsambrounis.

After highlighting their presence in 48 court cases regarding human rights’ violation in Greece, the members of Greek Helsinki Monitor maintain that the obligation of witnesses to take the religious oath is a violation of the right to respect for private and family life, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which are the matrixes, the indispensable condition of nearly every form of freedom, according to which all discriminations are prohibited.

The applicants maintain that Christian symbols in Greek courtrooms, along with the fact that all Greek judges are Christian Orthodox, raise doubts about their impartiality.

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