GEORGIA DETENTION WATCH


We are a coalition of organizations and individuals that advocates alongside immigrants to end the inhumane and unjust detention and law enforcement policies and practices directed against immigrant communities in our state. Our coalition includes activists, community organizers, persons of faith, lawyers, and many more.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, May 12 2016 

 

CONTACT:

Azadeh Shahshahani, Project South, 404-574-0851, azadeh@projectsouth.org

Kevin Caron, #ShutDownStewart Coalition, 815-222-2886, kevintcaron@gmail.com

 

GEORGIA DETENTION WATCH CALLS FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE DETAINED STATELESS PALESTINIAN, ALAA YASIN

Yasin has been on a hunger strike since April 17; the federal government recently unsuccessfully attempted to receive court permission to force-feed him

 

Atlanta, Georgia – Georgia Detention Watch is calling for the immediate release of Alaa Yasin, a stateless Palestinian man illegally detained by ICE at the Stewart Detention Center.  Mr. Yasin has been on a hunger strike since April 17th to protest his illegal detention.  Per U.S. Supreme Court precedent, since his removal is not reasonably foreseeable, the U.S. government should have already released him.  Instead, the government continues to hold him and has tried unsuccessfully to seek a court order to force-feed him, expressing concern about its ability to “maintain the security and good order of this detention facility.”

Alaa's case highlights the plight of hundreds of detained individuals held in private, profit-making prisons, for no other reason than ICE is unable to arrange their deportation.  Having done nothing more than use his uncle's address on his visa application and help out at the uncle's pizza restaurant, he has been held without hope of release or deportation for more than eight months.  All he wants is to go home,” said Helen Parsonage, Yasin’s attorney.

 

ICE has recently told Yasin that even if he breaks his hunger strike, he will be placed in solitary confinement.

 

“The attempt to force-feed Yasin to break his hunger strike and his spirit was a cynical and fruitless gesture on the part of the government,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal & Advocacy Director with Project South and Chair of Georgia Detention Watch.  “In light of the ongoing gross human rights violations at Stewart including indefinite detention, it is not surprising that detained immigrants including Yasin resort to hunger striking as their only remaining means of protest.”

 

On April 14th, five steering committee members of Georgia Detention Watch conducted an inspection of the Stewart Detention Center.  They documented various ongoing issues at Stewart including the limited ability of detained immigrants to report assaults due to a non-functioning phone number; severe understaffing of the medical unit which ICE and CCA staff admit has led to a decreased capacity to provide services; and the continued use of solitary confinement which has been utilized in a punitive and retaliatory fashion.

Detained immigrants at Stewart voiced their grievances about the indignities they suffer through uprisings at the facility in the summer of 2014 and fall of 2015.

With a capacity of more than 1,700, Stewart is the second largest immigration detention center in the country.

###

 

Georgia Detention Watch is a coalition of organizations and individuals that advocates alongside immigrants to end the inhumane and unjust detention and law enforcement policies and practices directed against immigrant communities in our state. Our coalition includes activists, community organizers, persons of faith, lawyers, and many more. 

Member organizations of Georgia Detention Watch include: the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, American Immigration Lawyers Association Atlanta Chapter, Amnesty International-Southern Region, Amnesty International -Atlanta local group 75, Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment (ABLE), Coalición De Líderes Latinos (CLILA), Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, International Action Center, Open Door Community, Project South, and others.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, March 7, 2016 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS VOICE DEMAND FOR CLOSURE OF THE STEWART DETENTION CENTER ON 7TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF ROBERTO MEDINA MARTINEZ

Press conference will be at 11 a.m. on March 11th in front of the ICE office in Atlanta, 180 Spring Street SW 

 

Atlanta, Georgia – On Friday, March 11th, Georgia Detention Watch will be joined by individuals and organizations demanding the immediate closure of the Stewart Detention Center, an immigration detention facility in rural southwest Georgia long plagued by complaints of detention standards violations and human rights abuses.  Speakers at the press conference will include formerly detained individuals, medical professionals, and advocates.

“Stewart has a long and egregious history of medical care neglect and other human rights violations. While we mark the seventh anniversary of the preventable death of Roberto Medina Martinez, the problems are not solely in the past but are ongoing,” said Anton Flores-Maisonet of Georgia Detention Watch and the #ShutDownStewart coalition.

Mr. Medina Martinez was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle which is usually caused by a viral infection and normally treatable. An investigation conducted following Mr. Medina Martinez’s death revealed that the lead physician at Stewart was systematically failing to conduct the required review of the medical examination information, thereby jeopardizing the health of the entire detention center population including that of Mr. Medina Martinez.  Following the death of Roberto Medina Martinez, the facility was without a doctor for more than three years, leaving the detained population with grossly inadequate medical care. 

“Seven years after the death of Roberto Medina Martinez, detained individuals at Stewart continue to suffer from lack of adequate access to medical care and inhumane treatment,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal & Advocacy Director with Project South.  “It is past time to shut down Stewart.”

Detained immigrants at Stewart voiced their grievances about the indignities they suffer through uprisings at the facility in the summer of 2014 and fall of 2015.

With a capacity of more than 1,700, Stewart is the second largest immigration detention center in the country.

This event marks the death of Roberto Medina Martinez, as well as the at least 155 other detained immigrants who have perished in ICE custody since October 2003.  A recent national report found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has provided inadequate medical care at its detention facilities for years, leading to in-custody deaths. 

This press conference is supported by the following organizations: Alterna, Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment (ABLE), Coalición De Líderes Latinos (CLILA), the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance, and Project South.

###

 

Georgia Detention Watch is a coalition of organizations and individuals that advocates alongside immigrants to end the inhumane and unjust detention and law enforcement policies and practices directed against immigrant communities in our state. Our coalition includes activists, community organizers, persons of faith, lawyers, and many more.  

 

Member organizations of Georgia Detention Watch include: the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, American Immigration Lawyers Association Atlanta Chapter, Amnesty International-Southern Region, Amnesty International -Atlanta local group 75, Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment (ABLE), Coalición De Líderes Latinos (CLILA), Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, International Action Center, Open Door Community, Project South, and others.

    

ICE has a

 

responsibility…

 

 

To take immigrants' human rights and dignity violations seriously!

        #ShutDownStewart Vigil IX

Click below for details on the vigil this Saturday, November 21 at 9:30am in Lumpkin, GA

    Why We Must #ShutDownStewart

Click below for details on the workshop this Friday, November 20 at 4:30pm in Columbus, GA



Concerning Human Rights Violation Reports Emerging from Stewart Detention Center


Aug 11, 2015

 

See more details in our 'News' Section


 

 

Read our "NEWS" Section for details on this

 

 

 

 

ACLU Calls for Investigation, Closure of Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers