ICE Force Feeding Detainees on Hunger Strikes
Immigration and Customs Enforcement have admitted to force feeding nine detainees held at the El Paso, Texas detention center. The detainees initiated a hunger strike due to the “rampant verbal abuse and threats of deportation from guards”. After missing nine consecutive meals, a federal judge ordered the nine detainees to be fed and hydrated without consent.
The detainees have described being force fed through feeding tubes in their nasal cavities to the point of regurgitation. ICE has not named the detainees who were force-fed, but have asserted that as part of their health and safety, they closely monitor the food and water intake of all detainees.
In a statement, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called the act, “inherently cruel, inhumane and degrading”. Moreover, the HRW has stated that “medical ethics and human rights norms generally prohibit the force feedings of detainees who are competent and capable of rational judgment…”
The detainees in El Paso, Texas are not the only detainees participating in hunger strikes. Nationwide there are four other detainees on hunger strikes in Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco.