US resister freed

IssueDecember 2008 - January 2009
News by Gabriel Carlyle

James Burmeister, 23-year-old Iraq war resister, was freed from military prison on 28 October, over two months early. The soldier of colour was jailed for six months on 17 July after going AWOL to Canada for 10 months in protest against the war in Iraq.
James was serving in Baghdad when his vehicle was caught in an IED explosion and he was hit in the face with shrapnel. Suffering from the physical and emotional wounds resulting from his injury, and his experiences working with “bait and kill” teams in Iraq, James went to Canada in May 2007.
“Bait and kill” refers to the US practice, revealed by James Burmeister, of planting equipment, such as AK-47s, to lure Iraqis to spots where US snipers could shoot them.
James’ early release from the stockade is, according to the campaigning group Courage to Resist, due at least in part to the public attention focused on his case.
The day before, on 27 October, Iraq war resister Matt Lowell was granted a stay of deportation from Canada. Matt had been ordered to leave Canada by 28 October or face deportation to the United States where he would face a court martial for his refusal to participate in the Iraq war (see PN 2503).
Iraq war resister Patrick Hart, his wife Jill and son Rian have had their deportation (see PN 2503) from Canada deferred to 15 January. Patrick is a former sergeant and a nine-year veteran of the US military, who served one tour of duty in the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Topics: War resisters