Two U.S. Army deserters who fled to Canada and sought refugee status on grounds of their opposition to the war in Iraq have lost their bids to have the Supreme Court of Canada hear their cases.
The court refused Thursday to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, who were rejected by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board in 2005.
The board ruled they would not be at risk of their lives if they returned to the United States, nor were they at risk of “cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.”
Hinzman and Hughey deserted the U.S. Army in 2004 after learning their units were to be deployed to Iraq to fight in a war they have called immoral and illegal. The men argue that serving in Iraq would force them to commit crimes against civilians, and that they would be persecuted if forced to return to the United States.
Both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal have refused to review their cases.
It ain’t over yet. A few of Hinzman’s moonbatty friends in high places will fight to keep him from being deported. Knock yourselves out:
If deported, Hinzman, who works as a Toronto bike courier, and Hughey, who works in British Columbia, face court martial and possible imprisonment for desertion.
Last night, protesters with the War Resisters Support Campaign said with legal remedies failing, they will concentrate on pressuring Canadian politicians to take action.
New Democrat immigration critic Olivia Chow said she plans to submit a parliamentary motion calling for hearings on the issue and will ask Minister of Immigration Diane Finley to intervene immediately.
“To deport courageous war resisters who oppose the illegal invasion of Iraq is saying yes to George W. Bush’s war and no to supporting and protecting people seeking peace,” Chow said through an assistant at the protest.
Attended by a handful of other deserters and their families, the Toronto demonstration was one of eight scheduled in cities across the country yesterday.
Lee Zaslofsky, who himself deserted the U.S. Army in 1970 to avoid deployment to Vietnam, said it is time for the federal Liberal Party to follow in Pierre Trudeau’s footsteps and support a provision allowing deserters to remain here in Canada.
If there’s a Canadian version of DLTDHYOTWO, let me know.
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