Canada denies asylum to US army Iraq deserter Bernard Hibbitts at 3:28 PM ET
[JURIST] Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board [official website] Thursday denied the asylum claim of Jeremy Hinzman [advocacy website], the US soldier who deserted his unit before being deployed to Iraq and subsequently fled to Canada, saying that Hinzman did not make a convincing argument that he faced persecution in the US. Hinzman had accused the US of committing war crimes in Iraq [JURIST report] and argued before the IRB that, because the war was illegal, any violent acts he would have committed if forced to go to Iraq would have amounted to atrocities. The IRB also denied the asylum claims of Hinzman's wife and son, saying "Removal to the U.S. would not subject them personally to a risk to their lives or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment." Hinzman's lawyer said Thursday that he would ask Canada's Federal Court to review the IRB decision [text, executive summary]. If Hinzman returns to the US, he will face a military court-martial for desertion with the possibility of a five-year jail sentence. Canadian Press has more.
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