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10/17 URGENT: 54 South Asian Detainees On Hunger Strike at El Paso Immigrant Detention Center
Released 17 October 2015  By DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving

10/17 URGENT: 54 South Asian Detainees On Hunger Strike at El Paso Immigrant Detention Center

DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving
Maru Mora Villalpando

URGENT: Detainees on Hunger Strike

After 3 days of hunger strike, 9 detainees have been released, 1 organizer beaten up and isolated, and 3 hospitalized

54 South Asian detainees, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, at the El Paso Detention Center started a hunger strike at breakfast time on October 14. All of the strikers are asylum seekers. Some detainees have been held for up to 9 or 11 months.

The detainees are demanding an immediate halt to deportations, investigations into unfair hearings and interference with their legal cases, release from detention for those granted parole.

As a result of the hunger strike, in the last 12 hours, 9 of the hunger strikers have been released. Md. Mahbubur Rahman, one of the organizers of the hunger strikers, said “this is a victory for us. Authorities are afraid everyone will find out what they have been doing to us.” Also in the last 12 hours, one of the co-lead organizers, Haji Khiay Mohamed Bilal (A# 202-156-877), was beaten up in front of other detainees, and dragged away, likely to solitary confinement. Additionally, 3 hunger strikers have been taken to the hospital, Shamsuddin (A# 202-849-636), Amar Kanti Dey (A# 202-160- 904), and Nur Alam (A# 202-156-126).

The detainees are coordinating their efforts with DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving, a South Asian immigrant rights organization in New York City. DRUM organizer Kazi Fouzia said “these hunger strikers are strong and well organized. We need to hear their stories and voices and see how this country treats refugees at our borders and in detention centers.”

For further information about the rally and press conference, please contact Roxana Benduzu, (202) 826-3547,

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