On day 6 of the hunger strike at the Hutto Detention Center, sources inside report that the hunger strike has grown dramatically within the detention center, including at least one section where all women are participating.
Women in the facility reported that retaliation is well under way. Women have been deprived of going outside to the recreation area in the evening, are being given disciplinary reports for refusing to leave the dorms at meal times, being presented with food in the dorms and pressured to eat and drink in front of guards, and guards are personally following or assigning other detained women to surveil the women on hunger strike.
Two women, Francisca and Amalia, were suddenly moved to a different detention center this afternoon. This is a common intimidation tactic used by immigration officials against people participating in a hunger strike.
One woman, Insis, was placed in solitary confinement from 3pm on Saturday until Monday morning as punishment for her participation in the hunger strike and publicly denouncing conditions of her detention. They placed her in a freezing isolation room under the guise of needing medical supervision.
Here is her letter describing the retaliation she has faced:
They have separated me from my friends they have me in a very cold room and alone they follow me as if I had committed a crime I feel like they are treating me like a criminal it’s an injustice someone behind me like a shadow following me since yesterday on Saturday 10/31/15 at 3 in the afternoon they have me in punishment they are very cruel and evil
Will you make a call to demand that Insis, Francisca, and Amalia are released from detention immediately?
Norma Lacy, Special Assistant, ICE San Antonio Field Office # 210 283-4711
“I’m calling to demand that Insis Maribel Zelaya Bernardez (A#206872250) be immediately released from the T. Don Hutto Detention Center, where she was placed in solitary confinement from 3pm on Saturday until Monday morning in retaliation for participating in a hunger strike and publicly denouncing conditions in the detention center. Insis, a Honduran Garífuna woman who is fleeing domestic violence and gang violence, suffers from sickle cell anemia, and has fainted three times while in the detention center. Despite her illness and compelling humanitarian case, she has been in detention for 10 months. I ask that you use your prosecutorial discretion to immediately release her without the necessity to pay bond by the end of the week.
We also demand to know where Francisca Morales Macias (A#098652351) and Amalia Arteaga Leal (A#206715851) have been moved and demand their immediate release. We demand that all deportations and transfers from Hutto be stopped until the women’s demands are met. I ask that you use your prosecutorial discretion to immediately release them without the necessity to pay bond by the end of the week.”