Immigrant detainee leading hunger strike beaten and transferred after meeting with Amnesty Intl.

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Image from Houston Indymedia

Update: The Southwest Workers Union is calling for a phone blast directed at Amnesty International and the Haitian Consulate in Haiti to stop Rama Carty’s deportation (info). Also, here (MP3) are excerpts of my interview with Sarnata Reynolds, Refugee Program Director at Amnesty.

From my story in today’s Free Speech Radio News headlines (listen here):

An update to a story FSRN has been following about a hunger strike at a Texas Immigration detention center… Human rights groups say they are concerned about an immigrant detainee who was suddenly moved to Louisiana for deportation yesterday. His tranfer comes after he spoke with representatives of Amnesty International at the Texas detention center where he was leading the hunger strike…

39-year-old Rama Carty has lived in the United States since he was 15-months-old. He was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has never been to Haiti, where his parents are from, but he is scheduled to be deported there in about one week. For the past month Carty has helped lead a hunger strike at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Brownsville, Texas. After speaking with Amnesty International staff earlier this week, Carty was woken up Wednesday by prison guards and informed he was going to be transferred. Sarnata Reynolds, the Refugee Program Director at Amnesty International USA, describes what followed.

“We were told by other immigrants in the detention facility that an altercation took place and that there was a use of force by the immigration guards. His early morning transfer after he had spoken to us seemed to have a chilling effect on the immigrants that we spoke to that day. There was a lot of fear that he had been moved and transferred quickly because he had spoken to us.”

Community activists who spoke to detainees in the facility say Rama Carty was threatened, beaten and removed for speaking out about the conditions inside. Anayanse Garza with the Southwest Workers Union told FSRN she is worried about escalating repression of other protesting detainees inside the Port Isabel Detention Center. Ansel Herz, FSRN, Austin.

Listen to the excerpts of my interview with Anayanse Garza below (MP3).

I’ll try to upload my interview with Sarnata Reynolds from Amnesty Intl soon. Garza says individuals and groups around the country need to put pressure on Homeland Security, particularly Special Advisor on ICE and Detention & Removal Dora Schriro, to stop Rama Carty from being deported to Haiti. Get on it, folks!

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