US soldier jailed for Iraq war opposition

This video is called Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera honoured at Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) Gala.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Soldier gets 10 months in jail for fleeing Iraq war

Tuesday 30 April 2013

by Our Foreign Desk

US female soldier Kimberly Rivera has pleaded guilty to two counts of desertion after fleeing to Canada to avoid a second tour of duty in the Iraq war.

Private Rivera was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Monday and a bad-conduct discharge by an army court martial.

Pvt Rivera was a driver in Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and served in Iraq in 2006.

She said that while there she became disillusioned with the US mission in Iraq.

During a two-week leave in the US in 2007, she fled across the Canadian border after being ordered to serve another tour in Iraq.

Pvt Rivera applied for refugee status, but was denied.

She then applied for permanent residency, but Canadian immigration officials rejected the application and also rejected her requests to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Pvt Rivera was first ordered to leave Canada or face deportation in 2009, but appealed against the decision.

The mother of four faced another deportation order in 2012. She was arrested at the US border and taken into military custody.

Around 19,000 people signed an online petition in Canada protesting against Pvt Rivera’s deportation order and rallies were held in a number of Canadian cities calling on the government to let her stay in the country.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the US veterans’ organisation Veterans for Peace also protested against the deportation order.

Pvt Rivera’s civilian lawyer James Matthew Branum argued that she never filed for status as a conscientious objector because she didn’t know that such an option was available to her.

Mr Branum said that she should have been informed about it when she met a chaplain in Iraq to consult him over concerns that she couldn’t take a life.

Canadian activist group the War Resisters Support Campaign estimated in 2012 that there were still about 200 Iraq war resisters resident in Canada.

The lower house of Canada’s Parliament passed a motion in 2009 in favour of allowing US military deserters to stay, but the Conservative Party government ignored the vote.

Iraq War Resister Kim Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison after deportation by Harper government: here. And here.

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