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Former US Soldier Tortured by His Government Loses Asylum Bid in Canada

© Flickr / Dennis SkleyMatt DeHart, a former member of the US Air National Guard who says he was tortured by US authorities investigating the case of hacker group Anonymous, was denied asylum in Canada.
Matt DeHart, a former member of the US Air National Guard who says he was tortured by US authorities investigating the case of hacker group Anonymous, was denied asylum in Canada. - Sputnik International
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Matt DeHart, a former member of the US Air National Guard who says he was tortured by US authorities investigating the case of hacker group Anonymous, was denied asylum in Canada.

Matt DeHart, a former US soldier who claims he was tortured by the American government investigating the case of hacker group Anonymous, was refused asylum in Canada and now will be forcefully returned to the United States, the National Post reports.

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The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada offered him no protection, denying him a refugee status that would have allowed him to remain safely in Canada.

“Am I now to be given into the hands of my torturers? I cannot imagine any life in a country which has already tortured me.” – DeHart told the National Post, following the IRB decision.

The IRB concluded that the United States has its own judicial system that would allow DeHart to fight his charges in a fair manner and that the US justice system could be trusted to deal with the case.

DeHart will have an option to appeal for a judicial review in the Federal Court of Canada, which would ultimately determine if the 30-year old hacker could remain in Canada, said Larry Butkowsky, a Toronto-based lawyer who worked on the case. Butkowsky also told Sputnik that DeHart is currently deciding whether to use this option and whether the appeal will have any actual merit.

The lawyer did not specify whether DeHart will find justice in the United States, but said that in case he ends up leaving Canada, there is a competent and skilled legal team behind him in the United States that would hopefully make sure that “justice will eventually be served”.

In 2008, DeHart was a member of the US Air National Guard, while at the same time being a member of hacker group Anonymous. DeHart also ran a computer server on the Tor network, a hidden Internet service used to anonymously share secret files. In 2009, someone uploaded a file on his server that had “information that demonstrated malfeasance and criminal activity on the part of a government agency”, according to the National Post. Two months later, DeHart’s house was raided and searched on the pretext of a warrant investigating child pornography. These charges were later dropped. DeHart claims that the US authorities used the charges as a trick to investigate his involvement with Anonymous and operation of the “hidden” server on which a secret US government document was uploaded, the National Post said.

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