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Iraq War Veteran Seeks Asylum in Germany


By Elsa Rassbach

Here in Germany there has just been an important new development for the international peace movement. Iraq war veteran André Shepherd announced on Thanksgiving Day that he will seek asylum via a court proceeding in Germany.

Over the past several years, peace activists in Europe have been raising the issue of asylum rights for U.S. soldiers in accordance with European law. For example, in March 2006, American Voices Abroad (AVA) Military Project (a U.S. peace group in Europe) initiated a hearing in the European Parliament regarding asylum. Hart Viges of IVAW a witness at the hearing along with German and UK military resisters, and Cindy Sheehan sent a video with her testimony. The Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild and the GI Rights Hotline have participated in seminars with German attorneys to explore representation of resisting GIs, including those that might seek asylum here.

It is hoped that Europe will soon be a viable alternative to Canada for U.S. soldiers seeking asylum.

Below are some of the articles that have appeared in English regarding André Shepherd's request for asylum in Germany.

Reuters:
Army deserter seeks asylum in Germany over Iraq

Financial Times (UK):
US soldier’s German asylum plea imperils ties

Easy Bourse (France):
US Military Deserter Applies For Asylum In Germany - Lawyer

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