Kimberly Rivera wipes a tear during a press conference at the United Steelworkers of America building in Toronto on Friday August 31, 2012.
Credits: Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun / QMI Agency
Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera, who complied with the Canadian government's deportation order, was transferred to the Lewis County jail in Lowville, N.Y. Friday night.
"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," Ken Marciniec, a spokesman for the War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSP), said in a statement issued Sunday. "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 U.S. jail for speaking out against the Iraq War while in Canada because our government deserted international law."
Rivera voluntarily presented herself at the border, as ordered, on Thursday. She was immediately arrested upon crossing into the U.S. and was detained at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Marciniec said 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."
The WRSP says that 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," Chuck Wiley, an Iraq War veteran who served 17 years in the U.S. military and, like Kimberly Rivera, sought asylum in Canada, said in the statement. "This is directly contrary to Nuremberg Principle four."
Amnesty International had asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to allow Rivera to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu had also urged the government to stop the deportation.