OTTAWA (AFP) — Canada is set to deport in June the first of possibly hundreds of American soldiers who sought asylum to avoid military duty in Iraq, a group backing the US deserters said Wednesday.
Corey Glass, 25, came to Canada in August 2006 after serving in Iraq as a military intelligence sergeant.
Authorities told him on Wednesday that his application to stay in Canada was rejected and he would be deported in early June, a spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign told AFP.
According to the group, several hundred Iraq War resisters are currently in Canada, many of them living underground. Glass would be the first of them to be deported, it said.
"This goes against Canada's tradition of welcoming Americans who disagree with policies like slavery and the Vietnam War," said Lee Zaslofsky, a War Resisters Support Campaign coordinator.
"Corey Glass would be the first Iraq War resister to be deported from Canada and he would face imprisonment and severe penalties in the US," he said. A spokeswoman for the War Resisters said Glass would face a court-martial and a possible five-year prison term for desertion.
Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board has said in a decision supported last year by the federal court that US asylum seekers are not conventional refugees under UN High Commissioner for Refugees rules, nor in need of protection.
Accordingly, Glass's refugee claim was denied.
A spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, which is responsible for enforcing the deportation order, was not immediately available for comment.
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