“Rogue agency” ICE still deporting abused asylum seekers – National & International News – WED 3Feb2021

Adams Correction Center, Natchez MS NEMiss.News
The Adams County Corrections Center in Natchez. Several Cameroonian ICE detainees at the center claim ICE agents beat and coerced them into signing their own deportation orders.

 

ICE deports abused asylum seekers. Uighur women claim systematic rape in China camps. Deposed Suu Kyi charged over illegal walkie-talkies.

NATIONAL NEWS

“Rogue agency” ICE continues deporting abused asylum seekers

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to defy President Biden’s temporary deportation ban. A Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the order last week. ICE is apparently taking advantage of the reprieve to deport as many abuse claimants from its facilities as it can.

The judges order allows for deportations to continue for terrorism suspects, convicted felons, and migrants who arrived after 1 November last year. Many of those being deported now meet none of those criteria. Many are, however, complainants of abuse at ICE facilities.

ICE covers its tracks

Sofia Casini, of Freedom for Immigrants said last year that ICE has a habit of “disappearing” victims and witnesses of abuse. This seems to be more of the same.

Late last year, Congolese and Angolan detainees at the Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, MS, filed a complaint through the Southern Poverty Law Center. CoreCivic, a private prison firm in Nashville, runs the facility in cooperation with ICE officials.

According to the complaint, African migrants are detained in a single block, called “Zulu” by the agents and CoreCivic employees. The detainees allege systematic torture, including severe beatings. Many were forcibly coerced to fingerprint documents waiving further asylum hearings and approving their own deportations.

A “rogue agency”

Such abuse and coercion is apparently commonplace at many facilities run by the New Orleans ICE Field Office. The office oversees facilities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

But, this is not unique to ICE centers under New Orleans’ jurisdiction. Several women who claim to have been coerced into hysterectomies at a Georgia facility have also been deported. Another woman at the center of an active sexual abuse investigation at a Texas facility was also deported last year.

More recently, Mondaire Jones, the Democratic representative for New York’s 17th district, tried to intervene in the curious case of Paul Pierrilus. Pierrilus, whose parents are both US citizens, was brought to the US when he was five. He was born in the French Caribbean territory of St. Martin. Despite Jones’ efforts, ICE deported Pierrilus to Haiti yesterday. Pierrilus is not Haitian and has never even been to Haiti.

Jones described ICE as “a rogue agency that must be brought to heel”.

While Biden has promised immigration reform, neither he nor his new DHS head have made any statements about holding ICE or its agents accountable for abuses during the Trump administration.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Uighur women claim systematic rape in Chinese ‘re-education’ camps

Several former detainees of Uighur concentration camp’s in China’s Xinjiang province have come forward to share harrowing stories of widespread sexual abuse and rape in the camps. The women say they and others were taken from their cell to a “dark” room with no cameras. They were then raped by guards, policemen, or Chinese men who paid the guards for time with the youngest and prettiest female inmates. Usually there were at least 2 or 3 assailants at once. Several women also describe being violated with an electrified baton.

One woman says she and about 100 other inmates were forced to witness the gang-rape of one woman. Unwilling witnesses who flinched, tried to help or looked away were punished.

While it is impossible to independently verify the accounts, they are startlingly consistent. The women also presented documents corroborating the dates and places of their incarcerations.

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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi charged with owning illegal walkie-talkies

Burmese police have charged deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with ownership of illegally imported walkie-talkies. Suu Kyi remains in custody after being taken at gunpoint Monday morning and will be held until at least Feb. 15. The Burmese military has since detained hundreds of the country’s lawmakers.

Myanmar’s import-export laws are “notoriously vague”, according to exports. Violations of these arbitrarily-enforced laws were a key tool for the military in prosecuting political enemies during the 50-year junta, which ended in 2008.

The leaders of the military coup have established a one-year “state of emergency”. They have also installed their own interim leader and cabinet.

While most world leaders have condemned the coup, China has blocked a UN Security Council resolution denouncing it.

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