Canada has a proud tradition of welcoming war resisters, two-thirds of Canadians support U.S. Iraq War resisters, and Parliament has twice voted to let them stay.
By the US military’s own estimates the Iraq War has killed over 100,000 people, two-thirds of them civilians. The Nuremberg Principles call on soldiers to refuse participation in such war crimes.
Recently, the Federal Court of Canada unanimously ruled that war resisters’ beliefs need to be taken into account when determining their refugee claims.
Despite Prime Minister Harper admitting the Iraq War was “absolutely an error”, his minority government deports U.S. Iraq War resisters to the US, where they are given harsh sentences for speaking out against the war.
In July 2010 the “Harper Government” issued “Operational Bulletin 202”, a directive that instructs Immigration Officers to flag all U.S. war resisters, labelling them criminals and stating they are potentially inadmissible before even hearing their cases.
According to Amnesty International Canada, it is “a violation of international refugee law to suggest that deserters are automatically inadmissible to Canada.”
Furthermore, “Amnesty International believes that Operational Bulletin 202 misstates the law and seeks to intrude on the independence of both IRB members and Immigration Officers. To be consistent with Canada’s international obligations under both human rights and refugee law, Amnesty International urges you immediately to withdraw the bulletin.”