Canadian Court Sends Deserter Back to US

Judge rejects American soldier's plea to avoid deportation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2008 10:36 AM CDT
Canadian Court Sends Deserter Back to US
Activists stand in front of the building housing the Canadian Consulate in New York on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 to protest the extradition of American army deserters currently seeking refuge in Canada.    (AP Photo/Ed Ou)

Canada's federal court ruled yesterday that an American army deserter can be deported to the US, rejecting his request for a stay to the order. The judge said that Robin Long did not provide clear and convincing evidence that he will suffer irreparable harm if he is returned to the US. Long, 25, fled to Canada in 2005 to avoid serving in Iraq.

Officials said Long would probably be sent back to the US today. Long said he sought refuge in Canada because the US army wanted him to participate in what he calls an "illegal war of aggression in Iraq." The judge noted that although the percentage of American military deserters prosecuted has increased since 2002, the vast majority have not been prosecuted let alone jailed. Some 200 deserters are believed to be in Canada. (More deserter stories.)

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