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Officials Strip Convicted War Criminal Of Citizenship After He Fraudulently Got Refugee Status

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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A convicted war criminal from the former Yugoslavia was stripped of his U.S. citizenship after it was found that he illegally obtained citizenship and lied under oath during his naturalization interview, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported Wednesday.

Edin Dzeko, 46, was part of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1990s Balkans conflict, according to a DOJ press release. The army was part of the 1993 Trusina massacre that resulted in 22 unarmed individuals getting killed.

Dzeko played a key role in the massacre that allegedly targeted Bosnian Croats who lived in Trusina due to their Christian religion and Croat ethnicity, according to previous findings from a Bosnian court. He was part of a firing squad that killed six unarmed war prisoners and civilians.

Dzeko was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee before becoming a naturalized citizen in 2006. During the naturalization process, Dzeko did not reveal his war crimes nor his involvement with the military on immigration forms, according to the DOJ.

“War criminals are not entitled to safe haven in the United States, and we will not allow individuals who commit such atrocities to take advantage of our immigration system,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler said in a statement. (RELATED: This Is How Easy It Is For An ISIS Fighter To Scam The Refugee System)

A Bosnian court convicted Dzeko of war crimes against war prisoners and civilians along with eight killings, six of which were from the firing squad, in June 2014.

Dzeko is currently serving his 13-year prison sentence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Balkans conflict left roughly 200,000 people dead and 2.7 million people homeless, according to the Independent.

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