Deserter awaits ruling

U.S. Army deserter Jeremy Hinzman admits the idea of an American claiming refugee status in Canada sounds "preposterous." But the paratrooper remains convinced he and his family will be persecuted if he is sent home to face the music for going AWOL on the eve of his unit's deployment to Iraq.

The 26-year-old's three-day refugee hearing wrapped up in Toronto yesterday. Afterward, Hinzman said he believes his life would be at risk in a military prison -- and the danger likely wouldn't end once he had completed the estimated one- to five-year sentence he could end up serving.

"I think we all know the climate of the States right now is kind of hostile to any sort of dissent," Hinzman said, explaining he expects he would encounter "social persecution" that would make just finding a job difficult.

CNEWS - Canada: Deserter awaits ruling


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