Last Friday the Canadian Federal Court ruled that US war deserter, Joshua Key, could qualify for refugee status in Canada. Federal Court Justice, Robert Barnes said that the refugee court had erred previously in denying Key’s bid for asylum and ordered the board to reconsider Key’s application. Citing a case from the US Federal court of appeal, Barnes ruled that supporting evidence for asylum status did not have to meet the threshold of a ”war crime,” as sufficient reason for Key’s refusal to serve.Â Barnes said that ”it cannot be seriously challenged,” that some of the conduct that Keys witnessed had violated the Geneva Convention. The decision was released on July 4th and could affect as many as 100 other deserters in Canada presently according to the Windsor Star.
Key’s had been sent to Iraq for an eight month tour and testified that during that time he witnessed instances of abuse, humiliation, and looting by US military personel. Key’s then experienced debilitating nightmares upon return for a two week leave and said that he could not return.Â Seeing no other option, he moved his family to Canada and applied for asylum.