I cannot swear this oath – How Greek legislation discriminates non-christians and the Humanist Union of Greece stands up against it

In Greece, there is an obligatory oath in court. Through early 2012, witnesses were presumed to be Orthodox Christians, were so recorded and were routinely asked to take an oath on the Gospel: non-Christians had to declare their religion so as to be allowed to take a different oath or make an affirmation. A series of ECHR judgments (Dimitras and others v. Greece) finding Greece in violation of Article 9 of ECHR forced Greece to alter the oath procedure: in theory witnesses are invited to choose between a religious oath and an affirmation. However, Greek courts continue to apply the old law: Dimitras and others have again applied to the ECtHR.


Panayote Dimitras, spokesman of the Humanist Union of Greece and of Greek Helsinki Monitor