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Human Rights Violators
03/24/2015

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ICE recognizes International Day for the Dignity of Victims

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) today recognizes the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.

The United Nations General Assembly set aside this date, March 24, to “honor the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice” as well as to “pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.” This day recognizes in a special way the life and work of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who was assassinated thirty-five years ago, on March 24, 1980. Archbishop Romero, a tireless defender of human rights, was killed by a death squad after denouncing human rights violations and calling for the end of killing and violence during El Salvador’s Civil War.

“Today and every day, we remember the victims of human rights violations and their defenders throughout the world,” said Mark Shaffer, the Chief of ICE’s HRVWCC. “The United States is a safe haven for many victims of human rights violations; our mission is to make sure that it is not a safe haven for perpetrators.”

The HRVWCC works in close collaboration with the FBI's International Human Rights Unit and other U.S. government and foreign law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, prosecute, extradite and remove individuals who have carried out genocide, torture, war crimes and other serious human rights violations from the United States. The center has also sought to deny entry to the United States for perpetrators of human rights abuses.

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 650 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, HSI has more than 140 active investigations, and ICE is pursuing more than 1,800 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries.

Over the last four years, ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crime 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.

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, international 001-1802-872-6199, by email at HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or by completing an online tip form at https://tips.fbi.gov. All are staffed around the clock and tips may be provided anonymously.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/21/2015