update on james burmeister: bad conduct discharge and more

The judge that heard Robin Long's final appeal for a stay of his deportation said that Robin had not proved he would suffer harm if sent back to the US. Robin could be forced to deploy to Iraq. Seems like that constitutes harm, no? Forced deployment - conscription - is a human rights violation. Unless the United States does it.

What kind of harm do resisters face if deported?

James Burmeister was court martialled yesterday. The entire proceeding took a few hours and he was led off in shackles.

James received a loss of rank, a loss of pay, and a nine-month prison sentence in a military prison. Worst of all, he was given a Bad Conduct Discharge. This means he will be permanently ineligible for veteran benefits, including medical care. He will have the equivalent of a felony offense. He can't get a mortgage, can't get student loans, in many state he can't vote. He also won't be able to return to Canada.

James will turn 24 years old this month. He suffered traumatic brain injury in Iraq, and has severe PTSD.

After his sentencing, James told his parents that that no matter how bad things seemed, that at least it was not Iraq. At least he would not be participating in war crimes.

It's clear that James' punishment was so severe because he was outspoken about what is really happening in Iraq. The US Army is making an example out of him.

That is why I fear for all my resister friends who have spoken out - and continue to. Each and every one of them is my hero.

We can't let this issue fade away. Robin Long has been deported, Corey Glass is safe for now, but the fight is far from over. Hundreds of US war resisters in Canada need our help.

Please: keep calling and emailing Stephen Harper, Diane Finley and your own MP.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
613.992.4211 Prime Minster's office
403.253.7990 constituency office

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley
519.426.3400 constituency office

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