US Activists Say Canada Should Take in Deserters
Date: Monday, April 25 2005
Topic: Military, Security, and Defence
Canada urged to give U.S. army deserters shelter
21 Apr 2005 19:03:32 GMT
By Jennifer Forhan
TORONTO, April 21 (Reuters) - Canada should grant special protection to U.S. soldiers who desert from the war in Iraq, even if they do not qualify as refugees, U.S. activists said on Thursday.
A Canadian refugee tribunal rejected the asylum claim of U.S. infantryman Jeremy Hinzman last month, dealing a blow to several other soldiers who have fled north of the border.
The activists met with Canadian parliamentarians in Ottawa to ask that the soldiers be given legal status.
Tom Hayden, a former 1960s antiwar leader, said that if the deserters are not allowed to stay legally they could potentially be extradited back to the United States.
"(The issue) was previously narrowly caught up in the appeal of the Hinzman case," Hayden said in a telephone interview. "But now it's a broader issue about what Canadian policy should be when the Pentagon comes knocking at the door, trying to take these young men back."
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