Video Footage Shows Asylum Seeker in ICE Detention Being Force-Fed

Human rights advocates on Tuesday renewed requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cease force-feeding detained individuals and finish its reliance on mass detention after The Intercept obtained and published footage of a hunger-striking asylum-seeker being force-fed in 2019.

The video depicting nurses forcibly inserting a tube into the nostril of Indian asylum-seeker Ajay Kumar in an El Paso, Texas detention middle marks the primary time the U.S. public has ever seen the federal authorities force-feed somebody, in line with The Intercept.

Because the outlet notes: “With Ajay Kumar’s consent, The Intercept first requested the video by means of the Freedom of Data Act in January 2020. After ICE refused their request, The Intercept filed a lawsuit, and ICE subsequently agreed to show over the footage — after redacting the faces and names of everybody who seems within the video, apart from Kumar’s.”

It was on no account the primary, solely, or final time ICE officers have carried out involuntary and invasive medical procedures in violation of worldwide legislation.

A 2021 report by the ACLU and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) titled Behind Closed Doorways: Abuse and Retaliation Towards Starvation Strikers in U.S. Immigration Detention particulars starvation strikes by a minimum of 1,378 individuals from 74 nations in 62 private and non-private detention facilities in two dozen states from 2013 to 2017, stretching throughout each the Obama and Trump administrations.

The ACLU-PHR investigation, primarily based on greater than 10,000 pages of paperwork obtained below the Freedom of Data Act, reveals the extent to which ICE responds to starvation strikers not by enhancing circumstances in accordance with prisoners’ calls for however by finishing up punitive therapies, together with force-feeding, compelled hydration, and compelled urinary catheterization, amongst different strategies.

“ICE’s horrifying response to peaceable starvation strikes — that are free speech protected by the First Modification — with coercion and violence continues to show the cruelty of our immigration detention system,” Eunice Cho, senior workers legal professional with the ACLU’s Nationwide Jail Challenge and report co-author, mentioned Tuesday in a statement. “It’s previous time to halt this inhumane apply, and in the end to close down the ICE detention machine.”

“Respect for affected person autonomy is on the coronary heart of medication,” mentioned Dr. Parveen Parmar, a PHR medical professional and affiliate professor of Medical Emergency Medication on the College of Southern California. “Drive-feeding shouldn’t be solely a violation of a person’s human rights, however a violation of the oath every of us take, as physicians, to respect the rights of these entrusted to our care.”

“The World Medical Affiliation, the American Medical Affiliation, and Physicians for Human Rights have unequivocally said that force-feeding is in violation of medical ethics,” Parmar continued. “It’s excessive time that ICE and the immigration justice system align with the medical group and outlaw this horrific, painful, and damaging apply in all detention settings.”

Joanna Naples-Mitchell, a analysis advisor at PHR and co-author of the ACLU-PHR report on starvation strikes in ICE detention, famous that “below worldwide legislation, force-feeding constitutes merciless, inhuman, or degrading therapy and may rise to the extent of torture, violating a number of worldwide human rights treaties.”

“This abhorrent apply is commonly not potential with out the participation or complicity of well being professionals,” mentioned Naples-Mitchell.

“Though this chilling footage depicts former President Trump’s Division of Homeland Safety, force-feeding continues at present below the Biden administration,” she added. “President Biden ought to seize the chance to vary course by adopting a brand new directive on starvation strikes and addressing the underlying explanation for so many starvation strikes: an abusive immigration detention system.”