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May 23, 2017Miami, FL, United StatesHuman Rights Violators

ICE removes Serbian man who allegedly participated in Bosnian genocide

MIAMI – A Serbian national wanted for crimes he allegedly committed during his military service during the Bosnian Civil War was removed Monday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Miami.

Srdjan Bilic, 44, departed Miami International Airport Monday morning escorted by ERO officers and arrived Tuesday morning at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, Serbia, where he was transferred into the custody of Serbian law enforcement.

Bilic was a member of the Army of the Republika Srpska (Vojska Republika Srpska or VRS), Bratunac Brigade, a unit that is implicated in assisting in the genocide that took place in Srebrenica, Bosnia, in July 1995. Approximately 8,000 men and boys were executed and 30,000 women and children were violently expelled from the area in a crime that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia formally ruled to be genocide in 2001. In 2005, Kofi Annan, then Secretary General of the United Nations labeled the Srebrenica genocide as the worst crime to take place on European soil since World War II.

“Individuals like Bilic must face justice; we will work with international partners to hold returning individuals accountable,” said Marc J. Moore, field office director for ERO Miami.

Due to the nature of the allegations against him in Bosnia, the enforcement effort targeting Bilic was supported by ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC). Established in 2009 to further ICE’s efforts to identify, track and prosecute human rights abusers, the HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.

Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 380 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 785 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 108 individuals from the United States.

Currently, HSI has more than 160 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 70,400 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped 213 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.

Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the ICE Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2423 (1-866-347-2423). Callers may remain anonymous. To learn more about the assistance available to victims in these cases, the public should contact ICE’s confidential victim-witness toll-free number at 1-866-872-4973.

 ICE ERO Miami coordinated the removal of Bilic with the ICE Attaché office in Vienna, Austria.