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AWOL US soldier André Shepherd nominated for Panter Award
Take part in the voting at the German newspaper Taz
by Connection e.V. and Military Counseling Network
The former US soldier André Shepherd, who went AWOL and is currently applying for asylum in Germany, was recently nominated for the Taz Panter Foundation´s 2010 Panter Award. As the Taz writes on its homepage “Real heroes have become very rare”. “Every year the Taz Panter Foundation awards the prize to everyday heroes who have acted selflessly, bravely, and creatively for the good of others.”
The newspaper adds that every year two of the six nominated candidates will be chosen: “The first prize winner is chosen by a jury of Taz writers and public figures, the second one by the newspaper’s readers.”
Connection e.V. and the Military Counseling Network are very pleased about the nomination – just as André Shepherd himself is. We ask you to take part in the voting on the Taz website. Vote for André Shepherd for the Panter Award 2010.
On November 26, 2008, AWOL US soldier André Shepherd applied for asylum in Germany. His tour of duty in Iraq led him to the conviction that he could no longer take part in an illegal war which is contrary to international laws on human rights. Because he does not match the US military´s definition of a conscientious objector, he decided to go Absent Without Leave (AWOL) and is currently living in Germany awaiting his asylum proceedings. In his application he appealed to a directive of the European Union dated October 2006, in which persons are to be protected who remove themselves from such wars or actions as are contrary to international law regarding human rights and must fear persecution on account of this decision. André Shepherd is still waiting for a decision from the German migration authorities concerning his application for asylum.
“It is an honor to be nominated for such a prestigious prize”, André Shepherd said today. “I would like to thank everyone for their consideration. This means so much not only because of my personal situation, but also that it shines a much needed spotlight on the grave situation that these wars of conquest have afflicted on every man, woman and child worldwide.”
“Shepherd´s claim”, writes the newspaper Taz “that the war in Iraq violates international law must be answered by the German authorities – a very important question for foreign policy as well. Shepherd´s actions might motivate many soldiers to refuse to fight in the war.”
Rudi Friedrich, Connection e.V., ph: +49 (0)69-823-75534
Marius van Hoogstraten, Military Counseling Network, ph: +49 (0) 6223-47506
Connection e.V. and Military Counseling Network: Press Release, August 9, 2010