December 10, 2008

War resister Dean Walcott ordered to leave Canada

War resister Dean Walcott ordered to leave Canada

U.S. Iraq war resister Dean Walcott was told on December 3rd that he must leave Canada by January 6th or face deportation to the United States. The decision follows similar ones in the cases of war resisters Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman and family, Patrick Hart and family, and Matt Lowell.

If deported, Dean will face a court martial, jail time and a felony conviction, all because of his refusal to participate in the immoral and illegal war in Iraq. This decision goes against the expressed wishes of the Canadian Parliament which passed a motion on June 3rd calling on the government to allow war resisters to stay in Canada, and it goes against the will of Canadians who have consistently demonstrated in polls that they want war resisters to stay.

The Federal Court stayed the removal orders of Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman and Matt Lowell. The Hart family faces deportation January 15th and will be asking the Court for a similar stay.

Corey Glass has since been granted a new application to stay on Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds. Jeremy Hinzman's appeal date for his negative decision has been set for February 10th 2009, and Matt Lowell is waiting to hear whether his appeal will be heard.

It is time for Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Jason Kenney to put an end to this case-by-case approach to the situation of war resisters in Canada. He must implement a political solution in line with what Canadians and Parliament are calling for and allow Dean, and all of the other courageous young men and women who have said no to participating in the war which even Stephen Harper has admitted was "absolutely a mistake", to stay in Canada.

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