200 Men in Detention Protesting Abusive Conditions & Recent Deaths Locked out in Arizona Desert Heat for Six Hours; Denied Medical Care, Family Visits & Phone Calls
Contacts: Caroline Picker, Puente, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-501-7276
Francisca Porchas, Puente, 602-616-4311
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 15
What: Press Conference and Rally in Support of Eloy Hunger Strikers
Where: In front of Phoenix ICE Field Office, 2035 N Central Ave
When: Monday, June, 15 at 11am
Who: Families of hunger strikers, people formerly detained in Eloy, Puente
Eloy, AZ—On Saturday, June 13, 200 men sat down in the recreation yard of the Eloy Detention Center and declared a hunger strike in response to what they call brutal and inhumane conditions. The hunger strikers faced immediate retaliation from CCA and ICE officials for their organizing, by being locked out in 100 degree weather with no shade or water for six hours, having emergency services turned away despite the real risk of heat stroke or death, and being indefinitely denied family visitations and phone calls.
Advocates are demanding that Acting Phoenix ICE Field Director Albert Carter meet with the hunger strikers immediately, end all retaliatory actions, and immediately reinstate family visits and phone calls. They are also calling for Carter to begin principled negotiations with the hunger strikers regarding their demands, which include:
- Independent investigation into the two recent deaths in Eloy, both of which happened under mysterious circumstances after guard abuse, as well as an investigation into the ongoing problem of excessive use of force and deaths inside Eloy
- Improved conditions, including adequate medical and mental health care
- Access to legal resources and court hearings when requested
- An end to the exploitation of detainees’ work
- No more criminalization, detention, and deportation
Francisca Porchas, from the Puente Movement, says, “While ICE’s official policy is to not acknowledge a hunger strike in its facilities until detainees have refused food for three days or more, people inside are risking their lives to fight against ongoing abuses and violence and call for end to all detention. Albert Carter needs to meet with strikers immediately and begin negotiations in good faith. He must hold CCA accountable for the demands of the strikers and for ongoing retaliation against them and their families for wanting to be treated like human beings.”
In addition, hunger strikers and advocates are calling on Vanita Gupta, the US Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to visit the Eloy Detention Center in person and launch an immediate investigation into the recent deaths and ongoing abuse and and excessive use of force at this facility.
Hunger strikers available for comment inside detention. For names and A#s, please contact Caroline Picker at email@example.com or 510-501-7276.