Ethiopia human rights abuses could cost man US citizenship


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia man’s U.S. citizenship is in jeopardy, with authorities saying he failed to disclose his role in suspected human rights abuses in Ethiopia.

The Washington Post reports 58-year-old Mergia Negussie Habteyes was arrested Friday on charges he obtained U.S. citizenship by lying on his application, falsely stating that he’d never persecuted anyone based on political opinion.

According to the indictment, he’s accused of serving as a civilian interrogator at a prison during Ethiopia’s Red Terror period. The military regime in Ethiopia was targeting dissidents and abused the rights of tens of thousands of people at the time.

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He was admitted to the United States as a refugee.

If convicted, he would have his citizenship stripped and could be deported. The newspaper couldn’t reach him or representatives for comment.



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