US prosecutors aim for more human rights cases


ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The Justice Department is encouraging the reporting of human rights abusers hiding in plain sight. It hopes to raise the profile of a relatively new prosecution unit and to make refugees comfortable with helping investigators.

That's how a former jail guard came to the attention of federal authorities. He is suspected of torturing and maiming political prisoners at a jail in Ethiopia.

In 2004, he came to the United States under a false identity and sought political asylum. He claimed he would be persecuted if he returned home.

He lived comfortably in Denver until 2011, when another Ethiopian recognized him outside a cafe and confronted him with the words, "I think I know you."

He was prosecuted and convicted last year of lying about his past on visa forms.

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