TORONTO and VANCOUVER, July 7 /CNW/ - On July 4, former US soldier Robin
Long was arrested by police in Nelson, BC, where he is legally residing, on a
warrant issued by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). A hearing is
scheduled in Vancouver tomorrow (Tuesday, July 8).
The CBSA is claiming that Long did not report as required to its Kelowna
office by phone last Thursday and that he was staying with various friends in
Nelson without reporting a change of address. Long has denied the allegations
and the CBSA does not dispute that he reported in on schedule on July 3.
Long has lived openly in Nelson after coming to Canada rather than deploy
to Iraq with his armored unit. He is well known by Nelson residents, and by
the RCMP, who had no trouble locating him on Friday.
On June 3 this year the House of Commons passed a resolution supporting
US war resisters remaining in Canada and called on the government to cease any
removal orders against them. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley
has so far refused to implement the will of Parliament.
Meanwhile, on July 4 an appeal court sent the case of Joshua Key, another
ex-US serviceman, back to the Immigration and Refugee Board. The court
instructed the board, which had originally denied Keyes' refugee claim, to
re-examine his application based on its failure to consider the brutality and
illegality of activities in which American soldiers in Iraq are forced to
Polls show that a majority of Canadians support the war resisters being
granted permanent residence.
"The actions of the CBSA amounts to harassment," says Lee Zaslofsky,
spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign. "This young man has
complied with his requirements and his whereabouts were well-known. The Harper
government is ignoring the will of the House of Commons and the Canadian
people. It is doing the bidding of the Bush administration in seeking to
remove these soldiers of conscience to face persecution in the US."
Bob Ages, of the Vancouver War Resisters Support Campaign said, "Our
legal counsel will be asking that Robin Long be immediately released and
members of Parliament will be taking up this matter with the government and
the Canadian public."
For further information:
For further information: Lee Zaslofsky, (416) 598-1222; Bob Ages, (604)