GEO Group and ICE threaten transfers from the Northwest Detention Center, Hunger Strikers Decry Retaliation

Tacoma, WA – At least two immigrants who have been held in solitary confinement since August 4th, 2017, have resumed hunger striking. Rather than investigate the guard’s assault on an 18-year-old youth named Omar, the private company (GEO Group) and Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) have teamed up to threaten those held in solitary confinement with charges of “planning a riot” and transfers to worse facilities in retaliation.

Hunger strikers call for the immediate release of all detainees who have been held for four years or more and their release back into the general population. GEO has accused them of “planning a riot” because they protested a guard assaulting a youth on August 4th, 2017. The boy had recently been transferred to the NWDC after turning 18, after arriving as an unaccompanied youth and held by child services until he was eligible for detention and deportation. After his assault, GEO guards placed the facility on lockdown — no phones, no lawyer visits, not even lights. Approximately twenty people were placed into solitary confinement, of which over 15 went on strike last week and at least three of them lasted five days.

Over 250 community members have signed a petition calling for the hunger strikers’ immediate release. We call on the Northwest Detention Center to release them from solitary confinement, and on GEO and ICE to take responsibility for inhumane living conditions.

For live updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/.

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NWDC Resistance is a volunteer community group that emerged to fight deportations in 2014 at the now-infamous Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. NWDC Resistance is part of the #Not1More campaign and supported people detained who organized hunger strikes asking for a halt to all deportations and better treatment and conditions.

 

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