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Hearing under way for American war resister seeking refuge in Canada

Jeremy Hinzman fled to Canada with his wife, Nga Nguyen, and their son, Liam, in January.

Jeremy Hinzman fled a Fort Bragg NC unit to avoid being shipped to Baghdad, giving the reason that the war itself is illegal. He surfaced in Toronto with his wife and child and (which is now in a hearing by the Immigration and Refugee Board. (AP):

“If I was going to go shoot depleted uranium rounds at Iraqi children, or into the Iraqi ground and raise the cancer rates, then that is contrary to good standards of human conduct,” he said.

Immigration and Refugee Board officials have said that Hinzman needs to distinguish between persecution and prosecution, the latter of which he would definitely face if he goes back to the United States.

Hinzman will also have to explain why he joined the U.S. Army when he knew combat might be a possibility. A member of the 2nd Battalion of the 504th Brigade Parachute Infantry Regiment, Hinzman could be prosecuted as a deserter if sent back to the United States.

Hinzman was serving in Afghanistan when his application to be a conscientious objector was denied. He had said he wanted to fulfill his service obligation but not to participate in combat.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding