TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2012) - On Monday, The Globe and Mail published an opinion-editorial by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in which the Nobel Peace Laureate called on the Government of Canada to stop its efforts to deport conscientious objectors to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. [Read the Op-Ed at: http://theglobeandmail.com/commentary/dont-deport-war-resister-kimberly-rivera/article4544856/]
"There are many people who, while they may have believed the original justification for the war, came to a different conclusion as the reality of the war became more evident," writes Archbishop Emeritus Tutu. "Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself came to the conclusion that the Iraq War was 'absolutely an error'."
"Canada's Parliament voted twice to allow American conscientious objectors to the Iraq War to stay."
Writing specifically about Iraq War veteran and resister Kimberly Rivera (http://change.org/letkimstay), who has been ordered to leave Canada by Thursday, September 20 or be deported, Archbishop Emeritus Tutu stated:
"Canada has a long tradition of giving refuge to people of conscience. During the Vietnam War, over 50,000 young Americans came to Canada. Many of them volunteered and, like Kimberly, later developed moral objections to the war that they could not ignore."
"The Riveras are the parents of four young children, two of whom were born in Canada. These are people of courage; they are people of peace and they should be granted asylum."
"The deportation order given to Kimberly Rivera is unjust and must be challenged. It is in times when people are swept up in a frenzy of war that it is most important to listen to the quiet voices speaking the truth."
"My thoughts and prayers are with Kimberly Rivera and her family. During the difficult years of struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, we were sustained by the knowledge of the support we had in the international community. Kimberly Rivera has my support and the support of all those who desperately want humanity to move along a path of peace."
This week, Rodney Watson (http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/742512--why-a-resister-chose-canada-over-the-war-in-iraq) - a decorated US soldier who served in Iraq, was stop-lossed and came to Canada in 2006 - will be marking his third anniversary of accepting sanctuary in Vancouver's First United Church. Faced with a deportation order dated September 11, 2009, he requested sanctuary rather than be separated from his Canadian wife and son. On Tuesday, September 18, Rodney Watson will have spent three years living inside the Vancouver church (http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/us-iraq-war-resister-marks-3rd-year-in-sanctuary-1701688.htm).