News  News brief: U.S. war resister can stay in Canada for now

U.S. war resister can stay in Canada for now

Iraq war resister Jeremy Hinzman and his family were granted a last-ditch reprieve from their scheduled deportation from Canadian soil last Monday.

A federal court reached their decision just one day before Hinzman, his wife, and his two children were due to be sent to the U.S., where Hinzman would likely face punishment by a military tribunal.

But their stay in Canada may be temporary, as Justice Richard Mosley ruled that Hinzman – who fled to Canada in 2004 to avoid deployment to Iraq – would only be allowed to stay until the court decides whether or not to hear his appeal of the government’s deportation order.

This verdict comes less than two weeks after protesters in about 20 cities across Canada called on the government to stop the deportation of U.S. soldiers who fled to Canada, avoiding participation in the Iraq war. According to the Canadian Press, there are currently 12 U.S. soldiers seeking refugee status in Canada, with over 200 reportedly hiding nationwide.

Robin Long, another U.S. war resister, was deported from Canada on July 15. He is now serving a 15-month prison sentence for desertion along with receiving a dishonourable discharge – the equivalent to a felony conviction. Long was the first deported soldier since the Vietnam War.

– David G. Koch