A group of 200 immigrant detainees launched a hunger strike at Eloy Detention Center outside Phoenix Saturday morning to protest a detainee’s death last month and call attention to conditions at the facility, said immigrant rights activists and detainees’ families.
Last month’s death of José de Jesús Deniz-Sahagún, a Mexican national who died in custody at Eloy, prompted the protest. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials issued a statement at the time saying that Deniz-Sahagún was found dead in his cell and did not show signs of injury, but detainees who joined the strike Saturday said guards beat him and locked him up in solitary confinement before he died.
Detainees also claim a second man died in custody, but ICE has refused to acknowledge the death, activists said.
ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the protest or the allegations.
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