Deserting to Canada

The outlook may not be so bleak for “Jeremy Hinzman, the US Army soldier who fled north [to Canada] in January 2004 rather than be deployed in a war he regards as a ‘criminal enterprise,'” and whose application for refugee status was refused, as was widely reported.

[The ruling] may be disappointing, both Hinzman and [his attorney, Jeffry] House note, but it was not unexpected, given that [Immigration Review Board member Brian] Goodman did not allow them to argue that the war itself is illegal. Punishing someone for refusing to participate in such a war would certainly amount to persecution, House says.

They note “that precedent-setting cases–such as one involving a Russian who was granted refugee status after fleeing military service in Chechnya–were won on appeals.”

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