U. S. deserter loses bid to stay in Canada

July 15, 2008 at 9:16 AM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 15 (UPI) -- A Canadian judge in Vancouver ordered a U.S. military deserter sent back to his U.S. Army base in Fort Knox, Ky.

Late Monday, Justice Anne Mactavish of the Federal Court of Canada agreed with federal prosecutors that Robin Long, 25, would receive fair treatment on his return home, the Globe and Mail reported.

Prosecutors noted how Long voluntarily joined the Army in July 2003, had never been deployed to Iraq and hadn't applied to be recognized as a conscientious objector while in the United States.

After beginning training to be a tank commander, Long said he changed his mind about the war in Iraq and he fled to the province of Ontario in 2005. In 2006, he applied for refugee status, which was denied in February, and an appeal was denied. He moved to British Columbia last summer, the report said.

Bob Ages, spokesman for the Vancouver War Resisters Support Campaign, said the ruling was a "terrible precedent for Canada, especially given our history of providing sanctuary for war resisters, over 100,000 draft dodgers and deserters during the Vietnam era."

Various support groups estimate there are at least 50 U.S. deserters living in Canada.

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