The US is Not a Safe Haven for Foreign Human Rights Violators

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By Chazmine A. Moore, AFJN Research Intern

Michael Sang Correa, a human rights abuser and member of the “Junglers,” a hit squad unit of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, entered the United States in 2016 and was arrested in 2019 by the United States (US) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on VISA violations. More importantly, Correa was the focus of US law enforcement officials because he and other Junglers are accused of human rights violations in Gambia. Correa tortured coup conspirators, executed Dabah Marenah and four others who worked as intelligence officials, a chief journalist Ebrima Manneh, and killed nine prisoners and two Gambian-Americans. Human Rights Watch reports that Correa and Junglers, “beat their victims with plastic pipes, wires, and branches, covered the victim’s heads with plastic bags… one victim was suspended over the ground in a rice bag and beaten severely while molten plastic or acid was dripping on other victims’ bodies.”

The US has laws intended to ensure human rights abusers, like Correa, do not have a safe haven on its territory. Correa could face the death penalty or up to life in prison based on the guidelines of the 1994 Torture Statue. This statute requires for any person residing in the US, regardless of nationality, to be charged for torture abroad. Also, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 prevents criminals from seeking asylum. However, the most legally cut-forward way, majority of the time, for US officials to prosecute war criminals is through immigration violations. The ICE and the US Department of Justice Criminal Division actively work to prevent criminals from entering the US.

If you know that a citizen from a given country took part in human rights violations and lives in the US please contact US law enforcement:

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):
    • 1-855-48-VOICE
    • 1-855-488-6423
  • U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division: 202-353-1555
  • Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (Direct Line): 202-616-2492
  • Department of Justice Main Switchboard: 202-514-2000

Sources:
“Gambia: US Charges Alleged ‘Death Squad’ Member with Torture”
The United States Department of Justice
“Gambian man charged in US with torture of coup plotters”
How the U.S. Became a Haven for War Criminals

Read more:
Liberian human rights violator removed from US
First-ever removal under the Child Soldiers Accountability Act 
Roy Belfast Jr., A/K/A Chuckie Taylor, Sentenced on Torture Charges
Former Guatemalan Special Forces Soldier Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements on Immigration Forms Regarding 1982 Massacre of Guatemalan Villagers
“NO SAFE HAVEN: ACCOUNTABILITY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS, PARt II”

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