Courtesy: Democrat and Chronicle
An immigration judge today ruled that George Boley — a longtime Clarkson resident accused of war crimes during Liberia’s bloody civil wars — will be deported from the United States.
The judge ruled that Boley was involved in killings during the civil warsand that he also recruited child soldiers. Boley and his family have adamantly denied the allegations. They can appeal the judge’s decision.
Liberia, a country in northwest Africa, was riven by two civil wars between 1989 and 2003 — brutal confrontations between warring factions that left more than 200,000 dead. Boley, now 62, led a ragtag group called the Liberia Peace Council, or LPC, according to immigration officials here and activists in Liberia.
The LPC committed atrocities, murdering civilians indiscriminately, some Liberian activists have claimed. Boley recruited children for the LPC and its battles, the immigration judge today ruled.
“Boley’s case represents the first removal order obtained by ICE under the authorities of the Child Soldiers Accountability Act of 2008, which added the recruitment and use of child soldiers as a ground of inadmissibility to and deportability from the United States,” ICE officials said in a statement.
“This historic immigration judge’s ruling is the culmination of extensive efforts by Homeland Security Investigations special agents and ICE attorneys to bring George Boley to justice for his crimes,” ICE Director John Morton said in the statement. “The United States has always been a place of refuge and freedom from oppression for millions. We must ensure that those who come here seeking freedom and the rule of law do not have to fear that their persecutor may become their neighbor.”
“The 1995 United States Department of State report on Human Rights Practices in Liberia documented credible reports that Boley authorized the extrajudicial executions of seven of his soldiers on Nov. 14, 1995. According to witnesses who testified before Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1994, the LPC burned dozens of captives and village inhabitants accused of witchcraft activities in a Liberian village. Other TRC witnesses also testified that in 1995, the LPC massacred 27 inhabitants in an attack on a village – ordering them to lie down before they slit their throats with cutlasses and raping the women before they killed them,” the ICE statement reads.
Boley originally came to the U.S. almost four decades ago for college and made a home here. He traveled to and from his home country as the political situation there worsened. He once ran for president of Liberia, but was thoroughly drubbed in the election.
His wife and children still live in the United States.