|By Marketwire .||
|September 23, 2012 09:21 AM EDT||
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 09/23/12 -- Iraq War veteran and resister Kimberly Rivera, who complied with the Canadian government's order that she leave the country on Thursday, was transferred to the Lewis County jail in Lowville, New York late on Friday.
"Kim Rivera's refusal to participate in an illegal war and her courageous decision to come to Canada was not only an act of peace, it was her duty," said Ken Marciniec, a spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign (http://www.resisters.ca). "On the same day that Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney was promoting the International Day of Peace in Montreal, a conscientious objector was being transferred to a US jail for speaking out against the Iraq War while in Canada because our government deserted international law."
Kimberly Rivera voluntarily presented herself at the border, as ordered, on Thursday, September 20, after requests to have Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney process her humanitarian and compassionate application were met with silence. She was immediately arrested upon crossing into the US and was initially detained at Fort Drum, New York.
During a Federal Court hearing in Toronto on Monday, September 17, lawyers for the Department of Justice argued that Rivera would not be detained when she crossed the border. Federal Court judge David G. Near ultimately denied her request for a stay of removal, finding arrest and detention to be speculative.
Just as the Rivera family's lawyer argued in court and as was predicted by her Canadian supporters, Kimberly was detained immediately upon crossing the border into the United States.
"It doesn't get any clearer than this. The risk that we've pointed out, of Iraq War resisters being punished as prisoners of conscience, isn't just risk. It's fact," said Marciniec.
"Minister Kenney had three years to make a decision on Kim Rivera's application for permanent resident status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The fact that she was separated from her children and had to leave Canada before a decision was made is a terrible injustice, especially since the majority of Canadians support permanent resident status for conscientious objectors to the Iraq War and Parliament has twice voted directing our government to stop deporting these war resisters."
On Friday, September 21, the International Day of Peace, Minister Blaney stated in a news release: "We teach our youth to appreciate the value of peace and remember those who have died in the service of peace." (http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1040411/minister-steven-blaney-announces-funding-for-minute-of-silence-moment-of-peace-ceremony-marking-international-day-of-peace-in-montreal)
"What does facilitating the punishment of conscientious objectors teach our children about the fundamental freedoms of conscience and expression that are supposed to be guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?"
"There's no fine print saying that soldiers are excluded once they sign up."
"Why does our government only offer platitudes glorifying war and lip service about rights?"
After the Second World War, the Nuremberg Tribunal resulted in international law that every soldier must follow. This includes the duty to refuse certain orders and to not be part of wars of aggression or war crimes like the murder of civilians and the detention of non-combatants without cause, both of which took place in Iraq.
"The government of Canada has told us that we, as individuals on the field of battle, have no right or ability to distinguish between a moral act and an immoral one," said Chuck Wiley, an Iraq War veteran who served 17 years in the US military and, like Kimberly Rivera, sought asylum in Canada. "This is directly contrary to Nuremberg Principle four."
Principle IV The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_principles#The_principles