On Saturday June 13, over 200 detainees in the Eloy Detention Center began a hunger strike in response to the death of Jose Sahagun, vicious guard attacks, and ongoing abuse of power and inhumane conditions. The hunger strikers put forth the following demands:
ICE officially announced the the death of Jose Sahagun on May 21, 2015, but failed to offer more than that guards found Jose dead in an isolation cell. Jose de Jesus’s autopsy report is available here, and leaves many questions unanswered about whether he was given appropriate mental health care before his death and what exactly happened the day he died.
Another detainee, whose name is not known and who was suffering from medical and mental health conditions, was reportedly tased by guards, had paper towels stuffed into his mouth, and dragged while unconscious to solitary confinement. He has not been seen since.
These events have catalyzed people detained at Eloy to take action to call for an investigation into the abuse and violence, as well as ongoing problems including lack of access to medical and mental health care, waiting for months or years to see a judge while detained, and the ongoing criminalization and deportation of immigrants.
Since Saturday, at least two people have been deported for participating in the protests and at least three are in segregation. The hunger strikers were locked out in 100 degree Arizona desert heat without water or shade for six hours when they announced their demands, and were denied the ability to call their families for three days afterwards.
Stand with the people detained in Eloy in demanding justice!
Listen to first hand testimony of a women who witnessed the hunger strike
To:Michael Zackowski, Acting Phoenix Field Office Director, ICE; Albert Carter, Assistant Phoenix Field Director, ICE
CC: Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, Public Advocate, ICE; Daniel Ragsdale, Deputy Director, ICE; Sarah Saldaña, Director, ICE
I support the hunger strikers at the Eloy Detention Center and their demands for an independent investigation into the recent death of Jose Sahagun in Eloy and the detainee who has disappeared, both of which happened under mysterious circumstances after guard abuse, as well as an investigation into the ongoing problem of excessive use of force and deaths inside Eloy; improved conditions, including adequate medical and mental health care; access to legal resources and court hearings when requested; an end to the exploitation of detainees’ work; and no more criminalization, detention, and deportation.
I urge you to make sure that retaliation against the hunger strikers, including denial of family phone calls and visits, deportations and isolation, end immediately, and travel to Eloy to meet with them in person and begin principled negotiations about their demands.
To: Vanita Gupta, US Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice-Civil Rights Division
CC: Jeh Johnson, Secretary, DHS; Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary, DHS; Megan Mack, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, DHS; Sarah Saldaña, Director, ICE
I am writing to urge the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to pay an urgent visit to the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona and launch an investigation into the culture of abuse and excessive use of force there, as also requested by Representative Raul Grijalva. 200 men detained there began a hunger strike inside on Saturday, June 13, in response to recent deaths and inhumane and brutal conditions. They have experienced life-threatening retaliation since then by ICE and CCA, including being locked out in the Arizona desert heat for six hours without water or shade and being denied family visits and phone calls.
The events that triggered the hunger strike include the death of Jose Sahaguan, and suspicions around another detainee presumed dead after being beaten and then dragged unconscious to segregation. Jose de Jesus Deniz-Sahagun’s autopsy report has been released, but there are still unanswered questions about what really happened in his cell that day and if he was given appropriate medical and mental health care.
These abuses cannot be allowed to continue unchecked! Please visit the Eloy Detention Center in person and launch an impartial investigation into the conditions inside.
Categories: Deportation Cases
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As the immigration debate continues, #Not1More enters the discussion from the place that touches people in concrete ways and can offer tangible relief. By collectively challenging unfair deportations and unjust policy through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.
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