Another Victory for War resisters in Federal Court: Federal Court judge orders new Humanitarian and Compassionate Application and Pre-Removal Risk Assessment for war resister Dean Walcott!
In a strongly worded decision, Justice de Montigny affirmed that the Immigration Officer who denied Dean’s application to stay in Canada did not adequately address his conscientious objections to the war and the harsh punishment he would face if deported to the United States.
The court made it clear that applications to stay in Canada on Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds cannot be properly addressed unless “the sincere moral and political objections that motivated” war resisters to refuse to participate in the Iraq war are taken into account.
The judge strongly affirmed that the long prison sentences and other harsh treatment given to war resisters who publicly speak out against the war amounts to persecution.
Along with the recent Federal Court of Appeals decision Jeremy Hinzman's case, this decision is in keeping with the beliefs of the majority of Canadian people. We again call on the Canadian government to make a provision to allow war resisters to stay. We urge supporters of US war resisters in Canada to continue to raise this issue at every opportunity. During the federal election campaign, we are demanding that Operational Bulletin 202 be rescinded. You can find resources here.
* * * *
Lawyer Alyssa Manning gave us the rundown on this decision tonight, and it could not have been more positive. Once again, the Federal Court took the Harper Government and its politicized Ministry of Immigration to task. This decision has the potential to impact the cases of all war resisters from now on. And seen through an even wider lens, the decision clearly shows that the law is moving towards recognizing any punishment of conscientious objectors as persecution. We're not there yet, but we're moving in that direction, and Alyssa's work is part of the picture.
You can read the decision here.