Tacoma, WA—This morning, 20 detainees being held in solitary confinement at the Northwest Detention Center in retaliation for engaging in a hunger strike were released from segregation, due to the pressure of litigation. The released detainees include 25-day hunger striker Jesus Gaspar Navarro, who had been placed in solitary confinement following a stay in medical isolation after ending his historic strike. The ACLU of Washington and Columbia Legal Services had filed a temporary restraining order and injunction on behalf of these individuals, seeking a court order to halt the ongoing retaliation against detainees engaged in the hunger strike and related activities. Those released are happy to be out of isolation.
The individuals released had been in solitary confinement since March 27, when United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers implied that detainees could meet with an assistant warden to discuss their reasons for being on hunger strike. Instead, these detainees were handcuffed as soon as they left their unit and were immediately placed in administrative segregation for 23 hours a day, with no human contact, access to a telephone, television, or written materials. None of these individuals were told from the outset why they were placed in solitary confinement. We refer you to the ACLU for details related to the lawsuit. Read more