Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are retaliating against detainees who initiated a hunger strike on Monday the 18th seeking fair treatment and better conditions in the for-profit GEO Group run facility in Conroe, TX.
As has been done with the two-week long hunger strike in Tacoma, WA detainees are being placed in solitary confinement as punishment for their protest. One detainee’s wife, Sandra Bonilla, reports from her husband, Ruben Rodriguez, that of the eight strikers who were in the cell with him, four have disappeared and no one will tell him where they have been taken. According to detainees’ reports, ICE is insisting others involved in the hunger strike to sign voluntary departure papers.
Adelina Caceres, fiancee of David Vasquez, another hunger striker, was denied visitation this morning. Despite confirmation from lawyer’s visits and phone calls to family members, detention officials continued to state that there is no strike. She states, “I am concerned for my husband’s safety. The detainees are hunger striking because of the already cruel conditions at the detention center but now they’re being punished for being whistleblowers. If the President is doing a review, he should start with my husband’s case and the demands of the hunger strikers.”
At least 120 detainees were originally reported to have joined the hunger strike now in its fourth day. Their handwritten demands are available here.