• August 13, 2008 10:38 AM
  • - General

War Resister Family Ordered to Leave Canada


    Hinzmans Were First to Seek Sanctuary

    TORONTO, Aug. 13 /CNW/ - U.S. Iraq war resister Jeremy Hinzman was told
today that his family's application to stay in Canada has been rejected.
Hinzman was told that he does not qualify under Canada's Pre-Removal Risk
Assessment (PRRA) program following a review by a Citizenship and Immigration
department officer.
    Jeremy, his wife Nga Nguyen and their son Liam were the first Iraq War
resisters to come to Canada to seek sanctuary. On July 21, their second child
was born in Toronto. If deported, they would be the first family sent to the
U.S. to face punishment.
    On July 15, the Canadian government deported U.S. war resister Robin Long
who is currently awaiting court martial at Fort Carson, Colorado.
    Hinzman served a tour in Afghanistan in a non-combat role after applying
for conscientious objector status. When his unit, the 82nd Airborne Division,
was to be deployed to Iraq Hinzman and his family decided to come to Canada.
    "I applied for Conscientious Objector Status in the U.S. Army because I
realized that I cannot kill a fellow human being. But my application was
denied. I knew that in Iraq I would be ordered to take part in combat
operations, or other actions that are against my principles," said Hinzman.
"Nga and I knew Canada had welcomed many Americans like us during the Vietnam
War, and we knew Canada had refused to join the invasion of Iraq."
    "Sending Jeremy and his family back to the U.S., where he would face
harsh punishment, would be cruel," said Lee Zaslofsky, coordinator of the War
Resisters Support Campaign. "It would fly in the face of the motion adopted by
the House of Commons on June 3, which called on the Harper government to stop
all deportation proceedings against these conscientious objectors."
    Recent Federal Court of Canada decisions in the cases of U.S. war
resisters Joshua Key and Corey Glass have indicated that the refugee process
which failed to grant protection to the Hinzman family may have been seriously
flawed.

    The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on the federal government
and the Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to
intervene to prevent the Hinzman family from being sent to the U.S. to be
punished.




For further information: Michelle Robidoux, (416) 856-5008 (cell); Lee
Zaslofsky, (416) 598-1222 or (416) 369-0864 (cell)