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Valsamis and Efstratiou v. Greece, 1996-VI Eur. Ct. H.R. Rep. Judgments & Dec. 2312 and 2347 (1996).

Facts: The applicants were Jehovah's witnesses who were temporary suspended of their school for having refused to participate in a military parade organized through the school commemorating the war between Greece and Italy in 1940. This refusal was based on the religious beliefs of the students and their parents, who were Jehovah's Witnesses.

Complaint: the applicants claimed a violation of their right to education under article 2 of Protocol No. 1.

Holding: the ECHR found no interference with the studentsí right to education and freedom of belief.

Holding: The Court held that the applicants' pacifist convictions could not have been offended by the parade, its purpose, or the arrangements for it and observed that pacifist objectives and the public interest were served in such commemorations of national events. The obligation to take part in the parade did not offend the parents' religious beliefs, and the penalty of suspension did not amount to an interference with the students' freedom of religion.The primary obligation imposed by Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 on states is found in the first sentence, namely the right to education. It appears that the "respect" referred to in the second sentence is of a "qualified" nature.


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