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Arizona Resident Convicted of War Crimes in Bosnia Receives 70-Month Prison Sentence

A Bosnian living in Arizona was sentenced to nearly six years in prison after lying about his war crimes to immigration authorities to move to the U.S. Sinisa Djurdjic was found to have tortured people in prison as a guard in 1992, during the Bosnian War. He obtained status as a refugee and permanent residence in the U.S. for two decades by lying about his prior military and police service. Five Bosnian Muslims testified against him, and one victim commended Djurdjic’s conviction as helping to bring them peace. The war, from 1992 to 1995, killed an estimated 100,000 people and displaced 2.2 million others, with around 8,000 Bosniak men and boys killed in the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995.

Djurdjic was sentenced to 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was found guilty of visa fraud and lying about his wartime activities when seeking citizenship. An investigation into Djurdjic’s past began in 2009, when he was found listed as a member of a Serbian police brigade suspected of wartime crimes. Djurdjic was a guard at two prison camps north of Sarajevo, both established by a Bosnian-Serb military unit engaging in ethnic cleansing. He repeatedly lied about his past in immigration applications, which inquire about involvement in wars and prisons and the use of weapons.

ICE has arrested and deported individuals tied to human rights abuses during the Bosnian war, which includes deporting at least two people in 2019 after they served prison time for lying about their involvement in war crimes. Homeland Security Investigations is investigating over 160 cases of suspected human rights violators and has stopped over 350 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S. since 2003.

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