Sarah Bjorknas looks on as she and others from the War Resisters Support Campaign hold a demonstration in support of U.S. Army deserter Robin Long outside Federal Court in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday July 14, 2008. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Darryl Dyck)
Army deserter's bid to avoid deportation rejected
Updated Mon. Jul. 14 2008 8:05 PM ET
The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER -- American army deserter Robin Long could be deported to his country as early as Tuesday after a Federal Court judge rejected his application for a stay of his deportation order.
Long, 25, fled to Canada in 2005 to avoid serving in Iraq. He was arrested in Nelson, B.C., last October on a Canada-wide warrant.
Bob Ages, chairman of the Vancouver War Resisters' Support Campaign, said Monday outside the court that he believes Long's removal would mark the first time an army deserter living in Canada has been deported.
Long said he sought refuge in Canada because the U.S. army wanted him to participate in what he calls an "illegal war of aggression in Iraq.''
In her ruling, Federal Court of Canada Justice Anne Mactavish says Long did not provide clear and convincing evidence that he will suffer irreparable harm if he is returned to the United States.
Mactavish notes that the percentage of American military deserters who are prosecuted for desertion has increased since 2002.
But she says the evidence also suggests that the vast majority of American deserters were not prosecuted let alone jailed for desertion...