Tuesday, October 02, 2007

NDP calling for the release of US war resister Robin Long

"NDP calling for the release of US war resister Robin Long"
TORONTO -- Following the arrest of US war resister Robin Long yesterday in Nelson, B.C., NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) and NDP MP Alex Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) are calling on the Harper government to reexamine their decision to deport Long and allow him to stay in Canada.
"Canada has always been a country that stands up for basic human rights. Conscientious objectors who have fled George W. Bush’s illegal war in Iraq should be allowed to stay," said Chow.
"Two war resisters' cases are currently before the Supreme Court of Canada," pointed out Atamanenko. "No one should be arrested or deported before the Court has a chance to make a decision."
Robin Long, from Boise, Idaho, received his orders in March 2005 and left for Canada the following June, believing the war in Iraq was illegal. He lives in Canada with his Canadian partner Renee and their young son. The Immigration and Refugee Board did not find his claims to be untruthful but ruled against his case and his deportation is imminent.
"Canada has always been a place of refuge for war resisters who refuse to fight in illegal wars," noted Chow. "From Vietnam to now, Canada has a proud and distinguished history of putting justice first, and allowing people of conscience to seek refuge in our country. Canada has to release Mr. Long and allow him to stay in Canada."
Chow noted that a recent poll taken in Ontario showed that almost two thirds of Ontarians believe that Canada should allow war resisters to stay in Canada.

That's the press release noted in today's snapshot but in full. Vic's e-mailed to note Timothy Schafer's "U.S. war deserter arrested in Nelson" (Vancouver Sun) which covers Long's arrest "on Baker Street by police on a nation-wide warrant" according to Klaus Offermann who visited the jail to protest and tells Schafer that, "The city of Nelson is arrest-central for war resistors in Canada" -- referencing the February 23rd arrest of Kyle Snyder (hauled off in his boxers at the request of the US military).

Vic also notes the press release at the top but in French:

"Le NPD exige que le resistant a la guerre américain, Robin Long soit libere"
TORONTO -- Suite a l'arrestation du resistant a la guerre americain Robin Long hier a Nelson en Colombie-Britannique, la porte-parole du NPD en matiere d'immigration, Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina), et le depute du NPD Alex Atamanenko (Colombie-Britannique-Southern Interior) exhortent le gouvernement Harper a revenir sur leur decision de deporter M. Long et à lui permettre de rester au Canada.
« Le Canada a toujours été un pays qui defend les droits fondamentaux de la personne. Les objecteurs de conscience qui ont fui la guerre illégale de George W. Bush en Irak devraient avoir le droit de rester ici », a affirme la deputee Chow.
« Les cas de deux resistants a la guerre sont actuellement en instance a la Cour supreme du Canada, a dit le depute Atamanenko. Personne ne devrait etre arrete ni deporte avant que la Cour ait l'occasion de prendre une decision. »
Robin Long, qui est originaire de Boise, Idaho, a reçu ses ordres en mars 2005 et est parti pour le Canada en juin, soutenant que la guerre en Irak etait illegale. Il habite au Canada avec sa conjointe canadienne Renee et leur jeune fils. La Commission de l'immigration et du statut de refugie n'a pas juge ses declarations fausses mais a quand meme rendu jugement contre lui. Il sera bientot deporte.
« Le Canada a toujours ete un refuge pour les resistants a la guerre qui refusent de se battre dans des guerres illegales, a souligne la deputee Chow. Depuis la guerre du Vietnam, le Canada a la grande tradition de privilegier la justice en permettant aux gens de conscience de se refugier dans notre pays. Le Canada doit liberer M. Long et lui permettre de rester au Canada. »
La deputee Chow a egalement indique qu'un sondage fait recemment en Ontario a revele que presque les deux tiers des Ontariens croient que le Canada devrait permettre aux resistants a la guerre de rester au Canada.

And this was e-mailed to the public account:

416 598 1222
October 2, 2007
"We will deport him soon," say Nelson Police
War Resister Robin Long has been arrested by the Nelson B.C. Police who intend to take him to Vancouver and hand him over to the US authorities at the border nearby. He was seized as he walked along a street. He is now detained in the local jail. Robin was not allowed to receive visits from friends; however he was able to call his spouse. She says that he is calm and hopeful that he will soon be released.
Robin Long comes from Boise, Idaho. He joined the U.S. Army but soon found that its demands were in conflict with his principles. He left the Army and came to Canada in 2005, where he met his spouse, Renee. They have a Canadian born son aged 15 months. Anyone who has met Robin knows him to be a man of peace, with a strong concern for the environment and to the land.
The Nelson Police also arrested war resister Kyle Snyder last winter and held him until they were informed that there was no charge against him. It appears that the Nelson Police Force has made arresting US war resisters a top priority. We call on the citizens of Nelson to hold their police accountable for these actions.
The War Resisters Support Campaign is urging all or friends and supporters to CALL THE NELSON POLICE AT 250-354-3919 AND TELL THEM TO RELEASE ROBIN LONG. We urge you as well to contact your local Member of Parliament and ask her or him to help release Robin.
Robin has done nothing wrong. The charges against him are technical immigration matters which arose because he did not receive a letter sent to him, and thus did not know that he had been called in for an appointment at Canada Immigration in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Naturally if he had received the letter he would have complied with it, as he has done with all previous requests and demands.
Currently two other war resisters, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada against the negative decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board. As with Robin, the IRB refused to allow them to raise the issue of the illegality of the US invasion of Iraq, thus making it impossible for them to bring forward a major reason for their decision to seek refuge in Canada.
Robin Long's lawyer, Jeffry House says: "It is totally up to the Supreme Court to decide on this. It is not fair that people should be removed as if the Supreme Court had ruled on this. No US war resister should be removed until the Supreme Court decides."
War Resisters Support Campaign

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