Thursday, January 8, 2009

US Deserter Expelled

From BBC News:
"Canada has ordered the deportation of the first woman US soldier to have sought asylum in the country to avoid being deployed to Iraq.

Kimberly Rivera, a mother of three, had requested permission to remain in Canada on humanitarian grounds but her appeal was rejected.

She could face up to five years in prison when she returns to the US.

Some 200 deserters from the US military are believed to have fled to Canada, some living incognito.

Mrs Rivera served in Iraq in 2006 but deserted a year later after refusing to be redeployed.

The War Resisters Supporters Campaign, who are backing Mrs Rivera, said her experience in Iraq was "a huge awakening" which convinced her that "the war was immoral and that she could not participate in it".

Mrs Rivera and her family have been told they must leave Canada by the end of January unless the court order is reversed.

Last year, the Canadian parliament passed a non-binding motion granting asylum to deserters from the Iraq war.

But correspondents say the governing Conservatives opposed the motion, not willing to risk upsetting Washington over the issue.

So far Canada has deported only one US deserter, Robin Long. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison on his return. "

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