WASHINGTON — This week marks the 20th anniversary of the commencement of executions of approximately 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in and around Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to the cold-blooded and calculated executions, the crimes at Srebrenica also included torture, rape, other inhumane acts, and ultimately the violent expulsion of approximately 30,000 women, children, and elderly.
The U.S. Congress, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina have all concluded that the crimes in eastern Bosnia in July 1995 constitute genocide.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI pay tribute to all victims and survivors of the genocide and other acts of persecution that occurred in and around Srebrenica.
“The atrocities inflicted upon the victims at Srebrenica will never be forgotten,” said ICE Director Sarah Saldaña. “ICE will continue working with the FBI and other U.S. government partners to hold responsible those who assisted in the horrors at Srebrenica or who have lied to U.S. officials about their participation, in order to remain in the United States on a potential path to U.S. citizenship. We are determined to work with our nation’s courts to prosecute these cases and seek removal or denaturalization. Those connected to the horrors at Srebrenica who have denigrated the integrity of the U.S. immigration system should not sleep easy – ICE and its law enforcement partners are still working hard on these cases.”
Joseph S. Campbell, assistant director for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI stated, “Justice for the victims and the families of this brazen act of genocide must include a full accounting of the crimes that occurred 20 years ago. Prosecution and punishment of those who carried out the atrocities remains, to this day, a moral and legal obligation of the FBI. By ending impunity for crimes of this magnitude, we honor Srebrenica’s victims and their families and secure a brighter future for generations to come.” The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit (IHRU) employs the law enforcement and intelligence reach of all 56 FBI field offices and 76 legal attaches located worldwide. The unit works with its international law enforcement and intelligence partners to identify, locate and prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations.
The FBI’s IRHU is co-located with ICE’s Human Rights Violator War Crimes Unit at the Human Rights Violator War Crimes Center. Here, both agencies have synched their expertise, investigative and prosecutorial mechanisms as well as their national and international reach. The result is a multi- faceted endeavor aimed at perpetrators of human rights abuses. IHRU has directed its information and awareness program within the U.S. government to facilitate a whole of government approach to ending the impunity of human rights violators. The unit also works in close collaboration with the U.S. intelligence community, Department of Defense, Department of State, and INTERPOL. The IRHU participates in the Atrocity Prevention Board, a National Security Council-led interagency enterprise that coordinates the U.S.’s approach to preventing and responding to mass atrocities. Within the FBI itself, IHRU is conducting educational seminars with FBI field offices, creating and implementing FBI and U.S. intelligence requirements as well as developing a comprehensive policy and training program for agents and analysts working human rights matters.
Over the last four years, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center has issued more than 67,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 111 countries and stopped 161 human rights violators or war crime suspects from entering the United States.
Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 296 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 740 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations has more than 140 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,800 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s online tip form.