I attended yesterday's court-ordered second IRB hearing for war resister Joshua Key. I took massive amounts of notes, and I'll attempt to re-create it for you as best I can. I'll work on that tonight, and have it up for tomorrow morning.
In general, it went very well. Josh was excellent - a clear, strong voice for peace and morality. Alyssa Manning was excellent as his advocate, and even the Refugee Protection Officer was clearly inclined towards granting refugee status.
However, it would be unwise to infer a victory based on that. None of us in the movement believe the IRB is a neutral and impartial body. Their employer, so to speak, has already called the war resisters "bogus refugees". Board members are political appointees, and to date have shown little interest in addressing the facts.
On the other hand, if this board member wants to rule in favour of Josh, he has statutes and court orders to back him up.
So I'll get the details up tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are some reports by the media who attended.
Short wire-service story from Canadian Press,
Longer CP story as picked up by the MetroNews,
and an excellent story by NewsFix.ca, with a lovely photo of Josh and his youngest child.
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