TORONTO, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - At a press conference today, Bob Rae, the
Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic joined U.S. Iraq War resister Jeremy Hinzman to
make an urgent appeal to the Conservative government to stop the imminent
deportation of Hinzman and his family, scheduled for September 23.
Hinzman was a specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army. He
came to Canada in January 2004 after refusing to deploy to the Iraq war. If he
is deported, Hinzman will face court martial, imprisonment and a criminal
"I believe very strongly, as do a majority in the House of Commons, that
we should do as we did during the Vietnam War," said Bob Rae. "We should be
accepting of those who refuse to take part in a war that Canada decided not to
take part in because it was not internationally sanctioned. Canada accepted
over 50,000 people during the Vietnam War, and Canada has benefited greatly
from them. Jeremy will make a great Canadian and it would be great if he and
his family could stay in Canada," Rae added.
"A recent Angus Reid poll showed that two-thirds of Canadians support the
war resisters being allowed to stay in Canada," said Lee Zaslofsky,
Coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War resister.
"Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Diane Finley should intervene now to
stop the deportation of the Hinzman family and allow other war resisters to
stay," concluded Zaslofsky.
The Hinzman family - Jeremy, his wife Nga Nguyen, their son Liam (6) and
newborn daughter Meghan - are the first war resister family to face
deportation. On October 8, Patrick Hart, his wife Jill, and their son Rian
(6), will learn whether they will face a similar fate.
"I want to thank all the people who have given support to my family and
myself while we've been in Canada," said Jeremy Hinzman. "A great majority of
Canadians opposed the illegal and immoral war in Iraq as I did. I hope the
Prime Minister will intervene to let us stay, along with the other resisters
who have sought refuge in this country."
For further information:
For further information: Fred Kuhr, Media Coordinator, Bob Rae Campaign,
(416) 922-0401, (416) 580-5837 cell; Michelle Robidoux, War Resisters Support
Campaign, (416) 856-5008