The Federal Court of Canada (FCC) recently upheld an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) decision that an Israeli army reservist who deserted and moved to Montreal with his wife and daughter in 2007 has no legitimate asylum claim and must return home, the National Post reported last week.
The IRB had earlier ruled that Karen Kirkoyan was not a true “conscientious objector,” as he asserted, since he had completed military training in Israel from 1998 to 2002 and returned to duty two times before deserting.
The IRB also said Kirkoyan never appeared before an Israeli committee that decides conscientious-objector status and that he did not supply any proof he was forced as a soldier to engage in international human rights violations, something he said in his refugee claim that the Israeli army routinely engages in.
Federal Court Justice Michel Shore backed up the IRB, rejecting Kirkoyan’s contention that he would be “persecuted” if returned to Israel, even if he might serve some jail time.
According to the Post, the Federal Court considered Kirkoyan a “draft dodger.”
In his first stint as a reservist in 2002, he was jailed for two weeks for refusing to enter the Gaza Strip. In his second stint in 2003, the court heard, he deserted after refusing to bomb terrorist tunnels in Gaza and then from 2005 to 2007 ignored all subsequent orders to report for duty.
The case was seen as entrenching a Federal Court of Canada stance that foreign nationals from democracies won’t be granted asylum in Canada to avoid military service.