Congressman wants answers on closure of FBI war crimes unit

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Congressman wants answers on closure of FBI war crimes unit

Congressman wants answers on closure of FBI war crimes unit

Congressman wants answers on closure of FBI war crimes unit

This tale used to be firstly printed through Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit information group based totally within the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn extra at revealnews.org and subscribe to the Reveal podcast, produced with PRX, at revealnews.org/podcast.

A distinguished member of the House Judiciary Committee is tough answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray, announcing he used to be “deeply disturbed” that the bureau is dismantling a distinct unit that investigates war crimes and hunts down war criminals – together with suspected torturers and perpetrators of genocide.

The unit “was originally dedicated to hunting down Nazis living in the United States after World War II and has since grown into an important legal and moral bulwark against perpetrators of genocide and other human rights abuses,” Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, mentioned in his letter to Wray ultimate week. The human rights unit’s closure used to be uncovered through Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

“What is the rationale for closing the International Human Rights Unit?” Lieu requested. “What process was used to arrive at the decision to shutter (it), and who was ultimately responsible for making it?”  

In an e-mail to Reveal, the FBI stated receiving Lieu’s letter however declined to remark additional. When the bureau showed the unit’s closure to us ultimate month, it argued that its dissolution “in no way reflects a reduced commitment by the FBI” to put in force human rights regulation.

Lieu’s missive is the newest effort to get answers from the FBI since Reveal’s document. On Feb. 22, 4 former high-ranking diplomats wrote an op-ed in The Hill that argued the closure of the human rights unit marks a perilous retreat from the Nuremberg Principles, a suite of regulations for war crimes followed through the United Nations after World War II.

Disbanding the unit “will break up a winning team, and make it much harder to pursue complex cases,” wrote the gang, which incorporated two earlier State Department ambassadors-at-large for war crimes problems, one of their deputies and the previous leader prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The diplomats mentioned the unit’s closure may just jeopardize a possible investigation into the dying of the American journalist Marie Colvin, who used to be killed through an artillery attack in Syria in 2012.

It just lately helped protected the conviction of Thomas Woewiyu, a Liberian warlord who’d moved to Philadelphia, and President Donald Trump had touted its paintings in figuring out Jakiw Palij, the ultimate identified Nazi who used to be dwelling within the U.S. till his deportation to Germany ultimate 12 months.

Aaron Glantz may also be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter:@Aaron_Glantz.

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