#Not1More Deportation

All posts in Detention Hunger Strikes

Community Plans to Mourn in Jackson Heights as Police Already Visit Threats Upon Deportees’ Families with News of Return

Contact: B. Loewe, #Not1More, bloewe@mijente.net, 773.791.4668

April 4, 2016 – Late Sunday night, advocates at DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) received a call from a detainee at Florence detention center reporting several busloads of South Asian men who had been transferred there en masse were being loaded on to buses in the middle of the night. By Monday afternoon, many of the asylum-seekers were listed as “no longer in custody” in the detainee tracker, a status associated with either being released or deported.

Read more


March 29, 2016 – This morning two dozen people, including former immigrant detainees from DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving and their supporters, arrived outside Clinton Campaign Headquarters to demand that presidential candidate Clinton and others running for office speak out publicly to halt the imminent deportations of 159 Bangladeshi migrants who launched the #FreedomGiving hunger strike last year. Read more

7 detainees from the #freedomgiving hunger strikes are still continuing on Day 21 of their hunger strike at Krome Detention Center in Miami, Florida. Yesterday they were summoned to court, where they appeared in wheelchairs and the judge issued forced feeding orders for all of them despite their protestations.

The hunger strikers also raised complaint about the prison and ICE officials having limited their phone access to the outside world of their family, friends, media, and even attorneys. The judge instructed that the detainees be allowed regular phone access. The judge also reminded that detainees should be allowed access and phone calls to the media.

Read more

Final Gov-Strikers (2)

One hunger striker deported, while 2 others meet Presidential candidate Governor O’Malley. Photo: Anja Hitzenberger

Even as the hunger strikes have drawn national attention, ICE has deported one of the key hunger strike leaders, Md. Tarek Ahmed, back to Bangladesh to imminent danger.

At the same time that Ahmed was being deported, two of his fellow hunger strikers from El Paso Detention Center were meeting with Presidential candidate Governor Martin O’Malley. After hearing about their lives and the conditions of their detention Gov. O’Malley remarked, “instead of giving them due process, we’re just rolling out more barbed wire.”

Mohammed Aminul Islam, one of the former detainees who met with O’Malley said, “I appreciate the attention for hunger strikers. But we need more than acknowledgement and future promises. We want to see leadership that takes action today! The candidates who say they support us should use their position to pressure ICE to halt deportations and release asylum seekers, or visit the hunger strikers to see what is really happening. Some of us will be deported and dead by the time the candidates act on their promises.”

The candidates who say they support us should use their position to pressure ICE to halt deportations and release asylum seekers … Some of us will be deported and dead by the time the candidates act on their promises.

Tarek and Aminul Islam were two of the 54 hunger strikers at El Paso Processing Center. Even before Tarek was deported, there have been worrisome actions taken by ICE in retaliation to the hunger strikers. For example, on October 20th, the 8th day of the hunger strike, ICE arranged for the Bangladeshi Consular Minister, Md. Shamsul Alam Chowdhury, to visit the facility to break their strike. He was given free access to the hunger strikers for over 10 hours which he spent interviewing, cajoling, intimidating, and pressuring them.

After the visit, the Embassy published a press release with pictures of the detainees, and posted it on their website. ICE’s actions violated the confidentiality provisions protecting asylum seekers (See 8 C.F.R. §208.6), and further endangered their lives by exposing asylum seekers to representatives of the very same government from which they are seeking asylum.

International and Bangladeshi press have published the hunger strikers stories and their photos, causing a firestorm of inquiry and calls for their punishment in Bangladesh as the asylum seekers were viewed as “dishonoring” their country.

“How can DHS deport somebody who is a victim and a witness to DHS and ICE’s violation of federal law while the investigations are pending? How can DHS deport detainees back to their home countries to face imminent danger that has been created by it’s own acts? There must be an immediate halt to the deportation of ALL detainees who were exposed to representatives of the Bangladeshi government at El Paso Processing Center on October 20th.” stated Fahd Ahmed of DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving.

For the past two and a half weeks, people seeking safety in the US who ICE has kept detained for up to two years have refused meals as part of the #freedomgiving hunger strike in seven different detention centers. Started by 110 detainees and expanded to 150, 10 are continuing the strike at Krome, South Texas, and Aurora facilities at last count. On Monday, the strikes were also joined by 6 people at Yuba County jail.


Fahd Ahmed, DRUM, 917-744-5526, fahd@drumnyc.org
B. Loewe, #Not1More, 773.791.4668, bloewe@onpoint.pro


“Immigrant integration doesn’t start with campaign promises. It starts with releasing the people who are starving for their freedom
in detention centers today.”

– Fahd Ahmed, Director of DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving

December 15, 2015 – New York City, NY
In the middle of her speech at the National Immigrant Integration Conference, Hillary Clinton was interrupted by several supporters of detainees who launched a hunger strike on Thanksgiving day with signs asking, “Do You Stand With Us?” and “People Are Starving for their Freedom.”  In recent weeks, the candidate has come under fire for not speaking directly to the question of the strikers’ indefinite detention.  A protest outside her office spurred both Sanders and O’Malley to cast their support to the strikers but Clinton’s campaign, despite representative Lorella Praelli listening to former strikers’ testimony during their protest outside.

Fahd Ahmed, director of DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving, says, “Future promises don’t speak to current crises.  Allies respond to cries for help and denounce abuse when its exposed and so far Clinton has done neither. We want her and every official to do their part to see to the end of torture in detention, the freedom of the hunger strikers, and the halt of their deportations.”

Started by 110 detainees and expanded to 150, 20 are continuing the strike at Krome, South Texas, and Aurora facilities at last count. Last week, supporters rallied at ICE as court documents exposed authorized force feeding of strikers and detainees reported ICE using torture tactics of sleep deprivation to try to break their whistleblowing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 4.31.38 PM

On Monday morning, 6 inmates at the Yuba County Jail also launched a hunger strike in solidarity with and joining the #freedomgiving strikes. While one of the strikers is a well-known immigrant detainee, Rajeshree Roy, the remaining 5 women are in general county custody, indicating the commonality of crisis in prisons and immigrant detention centers.

The women launching the hunger strike issued the following statement, “We are locked up together and refuse to be divided into immigrants and citizens. None of us belong in this cage separated from our families. We join the brave immigrant hunger strikers across the country in fasting to force recognition of our humanity.”

More details and background on the #Freedomgiving hunger strike available here:



Adelanto and Etowah Detainees End Strike as #Freedomgiving Detainees Demand Release and Halt to Removal


December 10, 2015

For the past two weeks, people seeking safety in the US who ICE has kept detained for up to two years have refused meals as part of the #freedomgiving hunger strike in seven different detention centers.


Started by 110 detainees and expanded to 150, 39 are continuing the strike at Krome, South Texas, and Aurora facilities at last count. Read more

What: Protest to Free Detainees on International Human Rights Day, what will be Day 14 of Hunger Strike
Where: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters, 500 12th St. SW, Washington, DC
When: 11:30am, Thursday, December, 10th, 2015
Who: #Freedomgiving Hunger Strike Support Committee

The situation surrounding the #freedomgiving hunger strike that was started by more than 100 asylum-seekers in several detention centers reached grave proportions as an Alabama judge authorized forced feeding of at least one of the men and invasive medical procedures of others held at Etowah according to documents obtained by supporters.  Nearing two weeks without food, at least seven hunger strikers have been taken to the medical unit while strikers report authorities torturing them with sleep depriving cell visits every fifteen minutes for the past two days.

Read more

In a rare occurrence, Sen. Bernie Sanders sat down publicly with undocumented immigrants to hear their concerns and discuss his Family First immigration platform.

During the discussion, a back and forth occurred between Jahed Ahmed, an asylum-seeker from Bangladesh who saw his friend killed in front of him because of their political involvement and who was part of hunger strikes that are facing increased retaliation as we speak. Read more


As Situation Escalates, Former Hunger Striker to Appear on Sanders Livestream Event at 3:00pm [watch here]


  • Theo Lacy suspends strike after reaching agreement for release from ICE
  • Otay hunger strikers resume eating after 11 days (including one man who continued for three days even after heart surgery)
  • Adelanto and Etowah detainees report sleep deprivation with guards waking them every 15 minutes
  • Etowah detainees report threats of force feeding
  • 7 Etowah detainees sent to medical unit now on 12th day of strike
  • At least four of the original El Paso hunger strikers were put on planes for removal and then returned to their cells this weekend
  • Krome, Etowah, and Aurora cut off calls to known supporters, trying to sever communication.

Read more

#Freedomgiving Hunger Strike in Detention Reaches 10th Day, ICE Urged to Release Participants

The day after protests prompted comment from all three democratic presidential candidates with Sanders and O’Malley issuing support, an ICE supervisor visited the 37 asylum-seekers who started the #freedomgiving hunger strike.  The meeting led to the detainees temporarily ending their strike under the agreement that anyone waiting for travel documents will be released within two weeks and ICE will honor its protocol, releasing all pending cases on parole. Read more