U.S. War Resisters In Canadian Court

LAWYER WANTS CANADA TO LET US IRAQ DESERTERS STAY By Amran Abocar Reuters Thursday, February 09, 2006

TORONTO (Reuters) – Two U.S. army deserters were unfairly denied asylum in Canada partly because the refugee board would not consider the legality of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, their lawyer said on Wednesday. The soldiers want the Federal Court of Canada to overturn an immigration board decision last March that denied them refugee status in Canada. A decision on this round of the judicial process is not expected for several months, and it could take years to exhaust all legal appeals. Army privates Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey sought asylum in Canada in 2004, saying the war in Iraq was illegal and they feared committing atrocities if sent there. They also said they may be persecuted if returned to the United States. But the board refused to consider the legality of the invasion, dealing a blow to their case. “It’s just very convenient that of all the things in the world, the one thing the (refugee board) can’t decide upon is whether the U.S. invaded Iraq illegally,” lawyer Jeffry House said outside the courtroom. “We’re asking that this court state that we would have a right to litigate that question and provide evidence on that question.” If the Federal Court agrees to overturn the ruling, the case will go back before the refugee tribunal. If the court declines, it must decide whether to let the cases proceed to the Federal Court of Appeal. The soldiers, who face court martial and up to five years in prison in the United States, may remain in Canada while their case is under appeal. Full Story

Related Posts