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February 6, 2006

U.S. War Resisters to contest denial of refugee status

(Toronto) - On Wednesday, February 8, the Federal Court of Canada will hear U.S. War Resisters Jeremy Hinzman's and Brandon Hughey's appeal of the decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board that denied them refugee status in Canada. The two appeals have been combined and will be heard at the same time. This will replace the previously scheduled date for Jeremy Hinzman's appeal.

The appeal hearing is scheduled to start at 9:30 AM at 330 University Avenue, in downtown Toronto. The War Resisters Support Campaign will hold a rally in support of the two former US Army soldiers outside the court building. The rally will go from 8:15 AM until 9:15 AM and will include short speeches from representatives of various organizations.

One of the important grounds on which the appeal will be based is the refusal of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to allow either Mr. Hinzman or Mr. Hughey to raise the important issue of the illegality of the US invasion of Iraq. In effect, this refusal denied them the opportunity to make their cases for refugee status. Their appeals will be presented by lawyer Jeffry House, who also represented them at the IRB.

"This appeal is an important turning point in these two cases. The Federal Court, in agreeing to hear it, has given added legitimacy to the very substantial refugee claims of these two former US soldiers, whose consciences would not allow them to take part in the invasion of Iraq. "We support Jeremy and Brandon and the more than a dozen other US war resisters who have come to Canada seeking sanctuary. We continue to emphasize the need for the Canadian Government to provide sanctuary to all US war resisters who have taken the same stand as Canada on this illegal, immoral war, said Lee Zaslofsky, Coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign.


For further information:
Lee Zaslofsky 416 598 1222 or 416 369 0864
Michelle Robidoux 416 856 5008 (cell)