War resister Kimberly Rivera struggles with privacy and proper care for her family
By Bob Meola and Michael McKee, Courage to Resist. March 10, 2014
It was her maternal instincts that first landed Kimberly Rivera at odds with her role serving in Iraq. Six years later, the army used her most basic human right as an expecting mother to make an example of other soldiers who might fall out of line.
After returning to the United States after five years in Canadian exile with her family (husband Mario and four children), Kimberly, then pregnant with their fifth, was arrested and sentenced to 10 months in brig. Despite public pressure for leniency and Amnesty International recognizing her as a prisoner of conscience, Kimberly was denied even a meager 45-day early release to give birth and bond with her new son outside of prison.
By Courage to Resist. December 13, 2013
Yesterday, Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera stepped out of the Miramar military confinement facility in San Diego, California, to the embrace of her husband Mario and their newborn son Matthew. "Kim is officially released and here with me. God bless all of you for your help and support. Love you all," exclaimed Mario last night. Courage to Resist, Amnesty International, and tens of thousands of individuals worldwide unsuccessfully appealed to Fort Carson Senior Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Bills last month to use his clemency authority to grant Kim an early release. Shortening her sentence by only a couple of weeks would have allowed Kim to have her baby in a civilian hospital, and not be separated from her newborn. Kimberly served a ten month military prison sentence for having taken her family to Canada in order to refuse redeployment to Iraq in the early days of the illegal and immoral invasion. The Rivera Family now faces significant fiscal challenges getting their lives back on track.
Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist. November 26, 2013
Under public pressure, Balboa Medical Center reversed it's stated policy and allowed Mario Rivera to be at wife's side during the delivery of their son Matthew last night. War resister Kimberly Rivera is currently serving a ten month military prison sentence for having taken her family to Canada in order to refuse redeployment to Iraq in the early days of the illegal and immoral invasion.
"We wanted to say a quick thank you to all who wrote letters and place phone calls in response to our previous call to action . Mario was allowed to be in the delivery room during the birth of his child! Kim and Mario’s son Matthew was born healthy and strong. Kim is doing well too and is being allowed to breastfeed while in the hospital. We do not yet know if she will continue to be allowed to breastfeed once she is back at Miramar but we are hopeful that the authorities will do the right thing," shared Kimberly's attorney James Branum today.
495 supporters from around the world write letters in support of clemency application
By James Branum and Courage to Resist. November 4, 2013
Fort Carson, Colorado – Imprisoned war resister PFC Kimberly Rivera has submitted a clemency application seeking a reduction by 45 days in the 10 month prison sentence she received for seeking asylum in Canada rather return to her unit in Iraq.
Please help us provide humanitarian assistance to these courageous objectors with your contribution to the Rivera Family Support Fund today!
By the War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada). April 29, 2013
On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonorable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada. Under the terms of a pre-trial agreement, she will serve 10 months of that sentence. (Photo right: Mario and Kim Rivera moments before Kim was taken to away in chains. She is currently in the local county jail awaiting transfer to a military prison.)
Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in 2007 because she decided she could no longer be complicit in the war. A mother of four young children—including two who were born in Canada—she was forced back to the United States of America by the Conservative government after receiving a negative decision on her pre-removal risk assessment. A Federal Court judge denied her request for a stay of removal, finding the possibility of her arrest and detention in the U.S. to be “speculative.” Rivera was arrested three days later, on September 20, 2012, as she presented herself at the U.S. border.