ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The US citizenship of a Virginiaman is at stake, with authorities saying that he has not disclosed his role in alleged human rights violations in Ethiopia.
The Washington Post reports that the 58-year-old Mergia Negussie Habteyes was arrested Friday on charges of obtaining US citizenship by lying on his petition and wrongly claiming that he had never prosecuted anyone on the basis of his political opinion.
According to the charges, he is accused of serving as a civil interrogator in a prison during the Ethiopian Red Terror period. The military regime in Ethiopia was directed against dissidents and abused the rights of tens of thousands of people at that time.
He was admitted as a refugee in the United States.
If he were to be convicted, he would have his citizenship destroyed and could be deported. The newspaper could not reach him or representatives for comment.