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To: ICE, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)

Tell ICE to immediately release hunger striking men in Louisiana

Immediately release the five South Asian men hunger striking in detention for more than 75 days in Jena, Louisiana. Each of them have formal sponsors in the United States committed to supporting and housing them while they fight their asylum case.

Why is this important?

Five South Asian men have reached the 75th day of a hunger strike in the GEO Group-operated LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena, Louisiana where they have been subjected to the tortuous procedure of forced-hydration and force-feeding. According to medical professionals, 75 days without adequate nutrition is when vital organs begin to fail.

The growing number of hunger strikes in ICE prisons across the country are no coincidence. It is indicative of complete disbelief in a fair legal process and the lengths ICE is willing to go to indefinitely detain them. Some of these men have been locked up for nearly 2 years,. We are deeply concerned that ICE appears willing to let these men die in detention to make an example of them rather than be released to community, where each man has family or close friends willing to provide housing and support.

Freedom for Immigrants (FFI) has filed complaints with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) on behalf of the five men, demanding DHS address the systemic civil rights violations the men have faced under ICE custody. Freedom for Immigrants alongside Detention Watch Network (DWN), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), local advocates, and medical professionals in the Louisiana area are warning the men are on the brink of death and call for their immediate release.

Additionally, independent physicians cannot conduct an assessment of the medical treatment these men are receiving while in detention because ICE is violating its own policies which say people in detention have the right to independent medical evaluation.

This is urgent. Currently, ICE is force-hydrating one man and force-feeding two men hunger striking at Jena LaSalle Detention Facility. Force-feeding is a painful process that involves physically restraining the hunger striker and forcing fluid through nasal passages with tubes. The practice has been denounced by the United Nations, Physicians for Human Rights, the American Medical Association, and the World Medical Association.

Tell ICE to immediately release these men while their asylum cases are processed.


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2020-01-21 14:23:22 -0500

As the men reach over 80 days on a hunger strike, contact Acting NOLA ICE Field Office Director John Hartnett at 318 992 1594 and and urge him to release the men. Read our call-in script here:

2020-01-21 11:12:44 -0500

20,000 signatures reached

2020-01-20 17:52:27 -0500

10,000 signatures reached

2020-01-20 16:31:08 -0500

5,000 signatures reached

2020-01-20 15:41:55 -0500

Here is an article with more information

2020-01-20 14:20:01 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2020-01-16 23:45:37 -0500

500 signatures reached

2020-01-16 15:54:50 -0500

100 signatures reached

2020-01-16 15:36:00 -0500

50 signatures reached

2020-01-16 15:30:33 -0500

25 signatures reached

2020-01-16 15:26:16 -0500

10 signatures reached