Freedom Road: U.S. Soldiers Defect to Canada
U.S. Army privates Brandon Hughey and Jeremy Hinzman are seeking asylum in Canada, having deserted from the U.S. Army in opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Their legal struggle for political asylum will be a test of Canada's position regarding U.S. military personnel who object to being used as cannon fodder by the Bush regime to further its expansionist goals in the Gulf region.
Hinzman, as well as his young family, and Hughey are represented by Jeffry House, a lawyer who has begun the process of applying for refugee status and hopes to convince immigration officials that Jeremy and Brandon "should not have been forced to take part in an illegal war that violates basic norms of human decency."
The stakes are high for US deserters and enlisted resistors, who may face the death penalty or long prison terms if deported to face US military courts. Will Canada stand on our Vietnam-era tradition of offering asylum? Or will we cave to the predictable US pressure and threats?