De zaak Kokkinakis

“… it was proved that, with the aim of disseminating the articles of faith of the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect (airesi), to which the defendant adheres, he attempted, directly and indirectly, to intrude on the religious beliefs of a person of a different religious persuasion from his own, [namely] the Orthodox Christian faith, with the intention of changing those beliefs, by taking advantage of her inexperience, her low intellect and her naïvety. More specifically, at the time and place indicated in the operative provision, he visited Mrs Georgia Kyriakaki and after telling her he brought good news, pressed her to let him into the house, where he began by telling her about the politician Olof Palme and by expounding pacifist views. He then took out a little book containing professions of faith by adherents of the aforementioned sect and began to read out passages from Holy Scripture, which he skilfully analysed in a manner that the Christian woman, for want of adequate grounding in doctrine, could not challenge, and at the same time offered her various similar books and importunately tried, directly and indirectly, to undermine her religious beliefs. He must consequently be declared guilty of the above-mentioned offence, in accordance with the operative provision hereinafter, while the other defendant, his wife Elissavet, must be acquitted, seeing that there is no evidence that she participated in the offence committed by her husband, whom she merely accompanied …” [bron]

Aldus de uitspraak in de veroordeling in hoger beroep in de zaak Kokkinakis, Griekenland. Geloof het of niet, maar deze uitspraak stamt uit 1988, slechts 23 jaar geleden dus.

De uitspraak hield geen stand in hoger beroep bij het Europese Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens in 1992, zei het dat de beslissing niet unaniem was. De veroordeling werd vernietigd vanwege inbreuk op art. 9 Vrijheid van Godsdienst. Wat vreemd is, aangezien die vrijheid ook in Griekenland expliciet beperkt werd door de wet, en bekeringsdrift was (is?) wettelijk verboden.

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