ICE agents are torturing detainees in their custody.
It’s no secret that conditions at ICE detention and processing facilities are deplorable. Long waits for bond hearings, lack of medical care, verbal abuse and worse from guards have all been documented.
Advocates say that as many as 30 asylum-seekers held in ICE detention are on hunger strike to protest these conditions and their unjust detention. In response, ICE officials in El Paso, Texas are force feeding nine of the men through nasal tubes and IV. The force feeding tube stays in their nasal passages 24/7. On some of the individuals the tubes are too large, causing nasal bleeding and unnecessary pain. Many of the detained asylum seekers have wounds and lesions on their throats and nasal passages, and are having difficulty speaking and breathing. We are deeply concerned about their health and well-being.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has called the force feeding of detainees who go on hunger strike against their conditions as “tantamount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” The World Medical Association has forbidden its members from participating in such practices and the American Medical Association has condemned the practice.
Hunger strikes are one of the only means detainees have to protest cruel conditions of confinement and to demand justice. Ruby Kaur, a lawyer for two of the hunger strikers being force-fed told the NYTimes,
“You’re fleeing persecution, you come to this country, and you are being tortured here as well,” she said. “The only avenue they have is to peacefully protest.”
International human rights and medical ethics experts have repeatedly condemned force-feeding hunger strikers, whether at Guantanamo, in Northern Ireland, Israel, Moldova or elsewhere.
Defending Rights & Dissent strongly opposes any efforts to expand the military prison at Guantánamo. We reiterate our call for the military prison to be closed, for the AUMF to be repealed, and for the policy of indefinite detention to be rejected.
Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist with the Iranian state-run Press TV, is currently being detained by the FBI. An unsealed order reveals she is not suspect of a crime, but is being detained as a “material witness” in an undisclosed grand jury proceeding.
As Trump digs in on his demand for money for a physical border wall, Congressional Democrats are countering with their own proposal for a border wall: a “technological wall,” that would include surveillance cameras, drones, sensors, and scanners.
DRAD joined a coalition of more than 80 racial justice, faith, and civil, human, and immigrants’ rights groups that sent letters today to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google demanding the companies commit not to sell face surveillance technology to the government.
One particularly troubling aspect of Barr’s views that have flown under the radar is his disturbing views about presidential war powers. On three separate occasions–Panama, Iraq, and Somalia–Barr advised then-President George H.W. Bush who use military force without congressional approval.
Academic freedom for supporters of Palestinian human rights is under fire.As a civil liberties organization, Defending Rights & Dissent takes no position on Palestine-Israel. However, we recognize there is a concerted, unconstitutional effort to silence supporters of Palestinian human rights. As an organization founded by victims of McCarthyism, we are obligated to speak out against such affronts to political expression and organizing
The Trump Administration has demonstrated an unrestrained contempt for journalists, whistleblowers, and truth tellers. Charging an individual with publishing information–even classified information–would be an unprecedented act of aggression against press freedom. Defending Rights & Dissent has long opposed the use of the Espionage Act against whistleblowers or journalists and called for it to be amended or repealed.
A former high ranking FBI official exclaimed during an appearance on the Tucker Carlson show that the FBI had worked to keep people with leftwing views out of government. The FBI’s long history of acting as the political police demonstrates why it is misguided for them to embraced as a force for democracy.
Krystal Two Bulls, an Oglala Lakota and Northern Cheyenne organizer, urged a federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit filed against her by the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, for her organizing and protest efforts to stop the pipeline.
Chip’s recent interview on CounterSpin has been getting a lot of social media buzz. They asked him to help them kick off the new year by talking about what we could expect from the crackdown on dissent in the coming year. He blew their minds.
On Wednesday, January 9, DRAD Executive Director Sue Udry joined Adjoa Aiyetoro of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and Nadia Khan Guzman of Stop LAPD Spying on KPFK radio to talk about the FBI’s Intelligence Assessment called Black Identity Extremists.
Arkansas and Texas aren’t unique in having laws on the books aimed at penalizing supporters of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestinian rights. They are among 26 states to have enacted such laws. Arkansas and Texas have also joined another growing subset of states–those who face First Amendment challenges to their anti-BDS laws
The Senate voted to end the US’s illegal, unauthorized military participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This is historic. Never has either chamber voted to invoke the War Powers Act. This could not have happened without grassroots pressure.
For over a decade, we’ve gathered outside the White House or at the Supreme Court on January 11 to mark the anniversary of the opening of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Over 700 men have been detained there. Fortunately, most have been released after having been cleared of wrongdoing. But 40 men are still detained