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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Canada Denies Refugee Status to AWOL Soldiers

Well it's about time! Canada has denied refugee status to two members of the Military who decided to run to Canada rather than perform the duties they willingly signed up for...

Two Americans who deserted the U.S. Army to protest the war in Iraq lost their bid for refugee status in Canada on Thursday.

The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal from the two men, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, of decisions by immigration authorities -- backed in two subsequent court rulings -- that they were not refugees in need of protection.

Opposing the war believing that it was illegal and immoral, they deserted.

This is quite a blow to the AWOL soldiers shirking their duties while enjoying freedom in Canada. I guess even Jimmy Massey's tall tales weren't enough to convince the courts in Canada.

Here's a little background on Hinzman and Hughey...

Jeremy Hinzman was a U.S. soldier in the elite infantry division, the 82nd Airborne. He served in Afghanistan in a non-combat position after having applied for conscientious objector status.
After being refused CO status and returning to America, he learned that they would be deployed to Iraq. Hinzman did not believe the stated reasons for the Iraq war. In January 2004 he drove to Canada to seek asylum. He is currently living in Toronto with his wife Nga Nguyen and son Liam. His refugee claim was turned down in March 2005 by the Immigration and Refugee Board. This decision was upheld by the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. Jeremy is now seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Brandon Hughey arrived in Canada in March 2004.Hughey, a San Angelo, Texas native left his Army unit before it shipped out to Iraq. It was, he says, his obligation to leave. "I feel that if a soldier is given an order that he knows to not only be illegal, but immoral as well, then it his responsibility to refuse that order," he wrote in response to e-mailed questions from the San Angelo Standard-Times. "It is also my belief that if a soldier is refusing an order he knows to be wrong, it is not right for him to face persecution for it." Brandon had his hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board in June 2005. His claim was rejected and he, along with Jeremy Hinzman, is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Canada is doing the right thing lately - first they deny Col Ann Wright permission to enter the country because of her arrests during anti-war and anything American protests. Now this. Good on ya Canada.

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