March 14, 2009
Opening and first statements
Dex 12, 2008
AWOL US Soldier Seeks Asylum in Germany Over Returning to “Illegal” War in Iraq
A US soldier who went absent without leave a year and a half ago to avoid returning to Iraq has applied for asylum in Germany. Specialist Andre Shepherd served in Iraq between September 2004 and February 2005 as an Apache helicopter mechanic. When his unit was called up to return to Iraq in early 2007, he went AWOL to avoid redeployment, calling the war “illegal.” He lived underground in Germany for a year and a half before applying for asylum two weeks ago. We speak with Shepherd in his first international broadcast interview. [includes rush transcript]
by Andreas Buerger, Reuters, 28 November 2008
A U.S. soldier who deserted his unit to avoid returning to Iraq has applied for asylum in Germany, saying the Iraq war was illegal and that he could not support the “heinous acts” taking place.
Andre Shepherd, 31, who served in Iraq between September 2004 and February 2005 as an Apache helicopter mechanic in the 412th Aviation Support Battalion, has been living in Germany since deserting last year.
“When I read and heard about people being ripped to shreds from machine guns or being blown to bits by the Hellfire missiles I began to feel ashamed about what I was doing,” Shepherd told a Frankfurt news conference Thursday.
“I could not in good conscience continue to serve.”