USA: Conscientious objector deported from Canada sentenced to 15 months imprisonment


On 15 July, the Canadian government deported U.S. war resister Robin
Long. Long was sentenced on 22 August to 15 months of confinement and
dishonorable discharge, receiving credit for 40 days of time served. He
will spend 2-3 weeks in a county jail outside of Fort Carson, Colorado
before being transferred to a Army stockade.

Three years ago, Robin Long fled to Canada rather than fight a war in Iraq he
deems immoral and illegal. On July 15th, the Canadian government
forcibly returned Long to U.S. military custody, making him the first
war resister deported from Canadian soil since the Vietnam War.

Long's court martial was held near
Colorado Springs, where he was charged with desertion "with intent to
remain away permanently." He was given the maximum time of confinement
negotiated in a pre-trial agreement, despite the testimony of several
supporters, including Colonel Ann Wright and Matthis Chiroux, an army
journalist who recently refused to deploy to Iraq. Long's sentence
stands as one of the longest handed to an Iraq War resister.

Long gave an impassioned testimony at his trial, in which he declared
that he was still convinced that he had done the right thing morally,
even if he did not make the most prudent legal and tactical decisions.
He said that he was glad that he did not go to Iraq but wishes that
there was another option available to him other than facing court
martial and confinement.

Robin Long was issued a warrant for arrest by the Canadian Border
Services Agency on 4 July of this year, on the grounds that he did not
adequately report his whereabouts to the authorities, and he was told a
few days later that he would be deported to the United States. Long
appealed the order, and his supporters rallied throughout the United
States and Canada, urging Canadian authorities to let him stay. Despite
these efforts, Long was deported on 15 July, after the judge ruled that
he would not suffer irreparable harm if returned to the United States.

Long's family remains in Canada, and before the
trial, he expressed concern about the separation, which could last a
number of years. "I have a son I wouldn't be able to see. It's kind of
hard to think about that," he told Courage to Resist.

Canada is home to an estimated 200 U.S. soldiers refusing to serve in
the Iraq War, and 64 percent of Canadians favor granting them permanent
residence, according to a 27 June Angus Reid Strategies poll. The
Canadian House of Commons passed a non-binding resolution 3 June,
calling for a stop to the deportation of U.S. soldiers and allowing
them to apply for permanent residency in Canada, but the resolution was
ignored by the conservative Harper administration. Several other war
resisters living in Canada face the immediate threat of deportation,
including Jeremy Hinzman, who received a deportation order for 23

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Robin

Robin Long

Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary


P.O. BOX 1000

Leavenworth, KSĂ‚ 66048


War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the US
government, and US authorities abroad. A protest email to US President
George W. Bush can be sent at href="">

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of
conscientious objector Robin Long and all imprisoned conscientious

Andreas Speck

War Resisters' International

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