Monday, July 07, 2008

Doing right by Joshua Key

An American war deserter could have a valid claim for refugee status in Canada, the Federal Court ruled on Friday.

In a decision that may have an impact on dozens of refugee claimants in Canada, Federal Court Justice Robert Barnes said Canada's refugee board erred by rejecting the asylum bid of Joshua Key. He ordered that a new panel reconsider the application.

Key was sent to Iraq in 2003 as a combat engineer for eight months where he said he was responsible for nighttime raids on private Iraqi homes, which included searching for weapons.

He alleged that during his time in Iraq he witnessed several cases of abuse, humiliation, and looting by the U.S. army.

If you've read Key's memoir of his time in Iraq, The Deserter's Tale, you'll know there's no way he should be sent back.

FYI: my review of Key's book here.

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