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Miss Pavlides (Appeal)

Volume 462: debated on Monday 14 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any application was made for permission to attend, and whether an observer from the British Embassy at Athens did attend, the recent trial by a military court of Miss Krini Pavlides; what assistance is being given by the Embassy to Miss Pavlides in the preparation of her appeal; and whether he will ascertain the date on which the appeal is to be heard and arrange for counsel in the United Kingdom to appear on behalf of this British subject.

No permission was required because, in Greece, trials are open to the Press and to the public. An Embassy observer attended some of the hearings. No assistance was requested in the preparation of the appeal which in such cases is a written one. The appeal was submitted by Miss Pavlides' lawyers to the Council of Pardons on 9th March. This body is not a court and does not hold hearings. At a date which has not yet been fixed, the Council will review the case and make recommendations. As counsel are not required to appear, the last part of the Question does not arise.

As this young lady is a student in her 'teens, is a British subject and is condemned to death with four other students, and since this Greek Government did not hesitate on Christmas Eve to execute by firing squad a girl student aged 15, and as the only thing with which this girl is charged, if it were proved, would constitute a minor act of malicious damage in our country, with perhaps a fine, will my right hon. Friend see that every step is taken to prevent this threatened barbarity from being carried out?

His Majesty's Government will continue to see that this young girl is afforded every appropriate help. I should say that the young girl has not asked for the help, which would not be appropriate or relevant, to which the hon. Member referred.