The Federal Court of Canada today ordered the Immigration and Refugee Board to reconsider the failed refugee claim of Joshua Key, an American soldier who entered Canada with his family in March 2005, rather than continue to participate in the illegal occupation of Iraq.
The summary decision reads “This is an application for judicial review from a decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The Applicants are citizens of the United States and their claims to refugee
protection arise from Mr. Key’s history of desertion from the United States Army. Upon review, the Court concluded that military action which systematically degrades, abuses or humiliates either combatants or non-combatants is capable of supporting a refugee claim where that is the proven reason for refusing to serve. It therefore concluded that the Board had erred by imposing a too restrictive legal standard upon Mr. Key. Furthermore, the Court found that clear and convincing evidence about similarly situated individuals who unsuccessfully sought to be excused from combat duty, or who were prosecuted and imprisoned for a refusal to serve, may be sufficient to rebut the presumption of state protection in the United States. On this point, the Court determined that Mr. Key should be given the opportunity to fully address the issue of state protection in a rehearing before the Board.”
This ruling kicks the shit out of the Tory position that U.S. war resisters are not “real refugees.”
There is ample reason to believe this ruling could apply to many other US war resisters who fled to Canada. Some estimates place the number at 200. We need to continue to press the federal government to stop planned deportations, such as the one that faces Corey Glass on July 10. The War Resisters Support Campaign can use your help — click here.