[Ppnews] Some Detainees Are Drugged For Deportation

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 16 12:06:49 EDT 2008


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/immigration/cwc_d4p1.html


Some Detainees Are Drugged For Deportation




Immigrants Sedated Without Medical Reason




by Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest | Washington Post Staff Writers




Page A1; May 14, 2008

The U.S. government has injected hundreds of 
foreigners it has deported with dangerous 
psychotropic drugs against their will to keep 
them sedated during the trip back to their home 
country, according to medical records, internal 
documents and interviews with people who have been drugged.

The government's forced use of antipsychotic 
drugs, in people who have no history of mental 
illness, includes dozens of cases in which the 
"pre-flight cocktail," as a document calls it, 
had such a potent effect that federal guards 
needed a wheelchair to move the slumped deportee onto an airplane.

"Unsteady gait. Fell onto tarmac," says a medical 
note on the deportation of a 38-year-old woman to 
Costa Rica in late spring 2005. Another detainee 
was "dragged down the aisle in handcuffs, 
semi-comatose," according to an airline crew 
member's written account. Repeatedly, documents 
describe immigration guards "taking down" a 
reluctant deportee to be tranquilized before heading to an airport.

In a Chicago holding cell early one evening in 
February 2006, five guards piled on top of a 
49-year-old man who was angry he was going back 
to Ecuador, according to a nurse's account in his 
deportation file. As they pinned him down so the 
nurse could punch a needle through his coveralls 
into his right buttock, one officer stood over 
him menacingly and taunted, "Nighty-night."

Such episodes are among more than 250 cases The 
Washington Post has identified in which the 
government has, without medical reason, given 
drugs meant to treat serious psychiatric 
disorders to people it has shipped out of the 
United States since 2003 -- the year the Bush 
administration handed the job of deportation to 
the Department of Homeland Security's new 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE.

Involuntary chemical restraint of detainees, 
unless there is a medical justification, is a 
violation of some international human rights 
codes. The practice is banned by several 
countries where, confidential documents make 
clear, U.S. escorts have been unable to inject 
deportees with extra doses of drugs during layovers en route to faraway places.

Federal officials have seldom acknowledged 
publicly that they sedate people for deportation. 
The few times officials have spoken of the 
practice, they have understated it, portraying 
sedation as rare and "an act of last resort." 
Neither is true, records and interviews indicate.

Records show that the government has routinely 
ignored its own rules, which allow deportees to 
be sedated only if they have a mental illness 
requiring the drugs, or if they are so aggressive 
that they imperil themselves or people around them.

Stung by lawsuits over two sedation cases, the 
agency changed its policy in June to require a 
court order before drugging any deportee for 
behavioral rather than psychiatric reasons. In at 
least one instance identified by The Post, the 
agency appears not to have followed those rules.

In the five years since its creation, ICE has 
stepped up arrests and removals of foreigners who 
are in the country illegally, have been turned 
down for asylum or have been convicted of a crime in the past.

If the government wants a detainee to be sedated, 
a deportation officer asks for permission for a 
medical escort from the aviation medicine branch 
of the Division of Immigration Health Services 
(DIHS), the agency responsible for medical care 
for people in immigration custody. A mental 
health official in aviation medicine is supposed 
to assess the detainee's medical records, 
although some deportees' records contain no 
evidence of that happening. If the sedatives are 
approved, a U.S. public health nurse is assigned 
as the medical escort and given prescriptions for the drugs.

After injecting the sedatives, the nurse travels 
with the deportee and immigration guards to their 
destination, usually giving more doses along the 
way. To recruit medical escorts, the government 
has sought to glamorize this work. "Do you ever 
dream of escaping to exotic, exciting locations?" 
said an item in an agency newsletter. "Want to 
get away from the office but are strapped for 
cash? Make your dreams come true by signing up as a Medical Escort for DIHS!"

The nurses are required to fill out step-by-step 
medical logs for each trip. Hundreds of logs for 
the past five years, obtained by The Post, 
chronicle in vivid detail deviations from the government's sedation rules.

An analysis by The Post of the known sedations 
during fiscal 2007, ending last October, found 
that 67 people who got medical escorts had no 
documented psychiatric reason. Of the 67, 
psychiatric drugs were given to 53, 48 of whom 
had no documented history of violence, though 
some had managed to thwart an earlier attempt to 
deport them. These figures do not include two 
detainees who immigration officials said were 
given sedatives for behavioral rather than 
psychiatric reasons before being deported on 
group charter flights, which are often used to 
return people to Mexico and Central America.

Even some people who had been violent in the past 
proved peaceful the day they were sent home. "Dt 
calm at this time," says the first entry, using 
shorthand for "detainee," in the log for the 
January 2007 deportation of Yousif Nageib to his 
native Sudan. In requesting drugs for his 
deportation, an immigration officer had noted 
that Nageib, 40, had once fled to Canada to avoid 
an assault charge and had helped instigate a 
detainee uprising while in custody. But on the 
morning of his departure, the log says, he "is 
handcuffed and states he will do what we say." 
Still, he was injected in his right buttock with a three-drug cocktail.

In one printout of Nageib's medical log, next to 
the entry saying he was calm, is a handwritten 
asterisk. It was put there by Timothy T. Shack, 
then medical director of the immigration health 
division, as he reviewed last year's sedation 
cases. Next to the asterisk, in his neat, looping 
handwriting, Shack placed a single word: "Problem."

When he landed in Lagos, Nigeria, Afolabi Ade was unable to talk.

"Every time I tried to force myself to speak, I 
couldn't, because my tongue was . . . twisted. . 
. . I thought I was going to swallow it," Ade, 
33, recalled in an interview. "I was nauseous. I was dizzy."

As he was being flown back to Africa, his 
American wife alerted his parents there that he 
was on his way. His father was waiting at the 
Lagos airport. It was the first time in three 
years that they had seen one another. Shocked by 
how woozy the young man was, his father decided 
not to take him home and frighten the rest of the 
family. Instead, he checked his son into a hotel.

Ade was in the hotel for four days before the 
effects of the drugs began to abate.

Part of a prominent Nigerian family, Ade asked 
The Post to identify him by only a portion of his 
name to protect their reputation. He had come to 
the United States as a college student in the 
mid-1990s. Five years later, he was in a car 
belonging to cousins when police found fraudulent 
checks in the trunk. He pleaded guilty.

After finishing his sentence, Ade was living in 
Atlanta, and was two semesters away from a 
telecommunications degree at DeVry University, 
when immigration officers came looking for him 
one day in January 2003. They wanted to deport 
him for the old crime. He called his probation 
officer to ask whether he could wait to surrender 
until he took his upcoming final exams. But when 
he went to the probation office, immigration officers were there to arrest him.

His records offer little explanation of why he 
was sedated. The one-page medical record in his 
file mentions one condition: chronic nasal 
allergy. The log of his trip does not mention 
mental illness; in the space to list current 
medical problems, a nurse wrote merely that Ade was anxious.

His drugging, however, fits a pattern that 
emerges from the cases analyzed by The Post: The 
largest group of people who were sedated had 
resisted attempts to deport them at least once before.

One summer day in 2003, deportation officers 
arrived at the rural Alabama jail where Ade was 
being held. Pack your bags, they told him. When 
they reached an immigration office in Atlanta, 
Ade recalled, half a dozen "big guys came to meet 
me and said I was there to be deported."

"I can't be deported," he replied. "I have a wife 
I love very much." Besides, he told them, he was 
still appealing his immigration case. He 
shouldn't have to leave, he protested, until the 
judge had ruled. That day, he was returned to 
Alabama. But he said that immigration officers 
warned him, "We'll find a way to get you on a plane."

A few weeks later, the officers came back and 
again took him to a holding cell in Atlanta. He 
was, the medical log says, becoming "increasingly 
anxious and non-cooperative per flt. to Nigeria." 
At 1:30 p.m., the log says, "Dt taken down by four" guards.

Ade was being held down, he recalled, when he 
noticed a nurse "with a needle and a bottle with 
some kind of substance in it." He said he told 
the guards: "Okay, fine, fine. If it's going to 
be like this, don't inject me. I will go on my own free will."

The nurse went ahead, the log shows, injecting 
him in the left shoulder with two milligrams of a 
powerful drug, Haldol, used to treat psychosis, 
and one milligram of an anti-anxiety drug, 
Ativan. He was injected with two more rounds, as 
well as a third drug, in progressively larger doses, during the trip.

The effects of those injections are what alarmed 
Ade's father after the plane landed in Lagos. Yet 
the medical log says Ade arrived "alert and oriented."

His family's doctor, who visited him on each of 
the four days his father hid him in the hotel, 
had a different view. "He was groggy -- somebody 
under the influence of drugs or drunkenness," 
recalled Olakunle Adigun, a general practitioner. 
He couldn't figure out what sedatives his patient 
had been given, so he tried to detoxify him with saline infusions.

Ade's pulse was dangerously low, and when he 
tried to walk around the hotel room, "he leaned 
on the wall," Adigun said. "He was talking, but a slurred kind of speech."

* * *

Internal government records show that most 
sedated deportees, such as Ade, received a 
cocktail of three drugs that included Haldol, 
also known as haloperidol, a medication normally 
used to treat schizophrenia and other acute 
psychotic states. Of the 53 deportees without a 
mental illness who were drugged in 2007, The 
Post's analysis found, 50 were injected with 
Haldol, sometimes in large amounts.

They were also given Ativan, used to control 
anxiety, and all but three were given Cogentin, a 
medication that is supposed to lessen Haldol's 
side effects of muscle spasms and rigidity. Two 
of the 53 deportees received Ativan alone. One 
person's medications were not specified.

Haldol gained notoriety in the Soviet Union, 
where it was often given to political dissidents 
imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals. "In the 
history of oppression, using haloperidol is kind 
of like detaining people in Abu Ghraib," the 
infamous prison in Iraq, said Nigel Rodley, who 
teaches international human rights law at the 
University of Essex in Britain and is a former 
United Nations special investigator on torture.

For people who are not psychotic, said Philip 
Seeman, a University of Toronto specialist in 
psychiatry and pharmacology, "prescribing Haldol 
. . . is medically and ethically wrong." Seeman 
studied the drug in the 1960s and later 
discovered the brain receptors on which several antipsychotic drugs work.

The only circumstances in which small amounts of 
Haldol are appropriate for non-psychotic people, 
Seeman said, are when a person comes into a 
hospital emergency room violent and agitated from 
an overdose of a drug such as PCP, or when 
someone with severe dementia is delusional or 
combative. "You or I wouldn't get it if we were emotionally upset," he said.

In addition, Seeman said, typical doses to help 
psychotic patients accustomed to the drug are 
perhaps five to 15 milligrams a day. Several 
deportees were given a total of 30 milligrams, 
which Seeman characterized as "really high," 
especially for people who have never taken the drug before.

Even when used for its intended patients, people 
with psychosis, Haldol has drawn warnings from 
the U.S. government. In September, the Food and 
Drug Administration issued an alert citing "a 
number of case reports of sudden death" and other 
reports of dangerous changes in heart rhythm. It 
is, important, the FDA warned, to inject Haldol 
only into muscles, not veins, and to avoid doses that are too high.

"Pharma non grata" is the way Emergency Medicine 
News magazine described the drug after the FDA alert.

Beyond the specific drugs used, Rodley said, is a 
deeper question: "What is the least intrusive 
means of restraint consistent with the human 
dignity of the person? . . . I'd be very 
surprised if the injection of disabling chemicals 
against somebody's will that affect one's 
psychological well-being . . . is likely to be the least intrusive means."

Asked to explain the reason for using Haldol and 
other psychotropic drugs with people who are not 
mentally ill, ICE responded, "The medications 
used by Aviation Medicine are widely used in 
psychiatry." Agency officials said that medical 
escorts administer "the lowest dose possible." 
Combining Haldol and Ativan "allows you [to] use 
less of each," they said, and produces a quicker and longer sedative effect.

In the years before Ade was drugged, there had 
been an internal debate within the U.S. 
government over whether sedating deportees 
against their will is legal, according to 
confidential legal memos obtained by The Post. 
There was agreement that mentally ill people 
could be forced to take psychotropic medicine on 
their way out of the country. At dispute were 
cases in which the detainees were not mentally 
ill but combative -- known as "behavioral cases."

Near the end of the Clinton administration, 
Health and Human Services lawyers sent around a 
memo that warned, "[U]sing chemical restraints in 
cases in which medication is not clinically 
indicated . . . may put the government at risk of potential liability."

Another memo went further, concluding that it 
could be done only if a federal judge gave 
permission in advance. "[R]egarding detainees who 
are not mentally ill," the November 2000 document 
said, "involuntary medication of such persons for 
the sole purpose of subduing them during 
deportation, without a court order, is not 
supported by any legal authority and raises ethical issues, as well.
"

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and after the 
Bush administration assumed a tough new stance on 
immigration in its campaign against terrorism, 
the Justice Department still sounded wary about 
drugging deportees. In March 2002, a Justice 
lawyer laid out two options. One choice, he 
wrote, was to "seek a court order . . . in every 
case where the alien's medication is not 
therapeutically justified." The other choice was 
to create a regulation to grant immigration 
officials explicit permission to sedate 
deportees, perhaps including safeguards that 
would give people a warning that they might be 
medicated -- and a chance to object.

Top immigration officials chose neither. Instead, 
in May 2003, just after ICE was created, they 
internally circulated a new policy: "[A]n ICE 
detainee with or without a diagnosed psychiatric 
condition who displays overt or threatening 
aggressive behavior . . . may be considered a 
combative detainee and can be sedated if appropriate under the circumstances."

Under that policy, scores of people have been 
sedated every year since then, usually with heavy psychotropic drugs.

Some countries forbid the practice. The medical 
files for several deportees recount disputes 
between U.S. officials, who wanted to inject a 
subject, and foreign officials, who would not allow it.

Immigration guards and a public health nurse ran 
into trouble in May 2004, during a stopover on a 
trip from Colorado to Guinea. The deportee had 
been given the three-drug cocktail at the airport 
gate before leaving Denver, the nurse wrote in 
the log. Three "booster doses" followed.

The last booster was given shortly before the 
plane landed in Belgium. "[N]o problem initially 
with Belgium security," the log says. "[T]hen 
approached and informed illegal to medicate 
detainee against their will in Belgium. Informed 
them pt wasn't medicated in Belgium airspace for 
which they replied that he is medicated in 
Belgium." In the end, the security officers let the deportation go ahead.

Immigration guards and a nurse had more trouble 
during another deportation to Guinea in April 
2006, as they escorted a 34-year-old man from Atlanta, with a stop in France.

He had been given 15 milligrams of Haldol, as 
well as the two other drugs, by the time the 
flight reached Paris at 9:45 a.m. According to a 
nurse's report on the incident, the guards, nurse 
and deportee were met at the plane by French 
national police, who accompanied them to an 
airport police station to await the connecting 
flight to Africa later in the day.

Once at the station, one of the guards asked a 
French officer "where we could inject the 
detainee when needed." First, they were shown 
into a private area. But five minutes later, the 
nurse's report says, "a superior French police 
officer approached and informed me that any type 
of involuntary injection was strictly forbidden 
in France, and that we would have to wait until 
we were in the aircraft if we were to inject our detainee."

Six hours later, the entourage returned to the 
boarding area for the flight to Guinea. "When we 
arrived at the plane, the detainee became very 
argumentative, refusing to enter plane until [the 
guards] produced paperwork showing a final 
deportation order," the nurse wrote. The 
immigration officers tried to coax him onto the plane. He refused.

"I asked the French police if the ramp on the 
gate would be an appropriate place to medicate," 
the nurse wrote. "The French police's reply was 
that it was strictly forbidden." The plane's 
captain came over to say that he would not allow 
the deportee onto the flight. The guards and the 
nurse flew him back to Atlanta.

Five weeks later they tried again, and this time, 
they reached Guinea. By the time they arrived, a 
nurse had given the deportee nine injections of 
Haldol totaling 55 milligrams -- nearly four times as much as before.

* * *

One deportee who was sedated last year had 
convictions for armed robbery and assault. 
Another kept telling immigration officers, "I am 
God." But many of those injected with 
psychotropic drugs, records show, are neither 
violent nor mentally ill. They simply do not want to go home.

"[M]ild anxiety and agitation" is how a 
deportation log describes Remmy Semakula's state 
on the afternoon he was taken from his cell in 
the Middlesex County jail in New Jersey to be 
deported to Uganda in early April 2007. According 
to a memo from his deportation officer, he had 
said earlier that he would "fight with the 
officers and obstruct the operation of the 
airline" if guards tried to force him to go home. 
Semakula, 42, said that he had not tried to 
thwart his deportation and had not known it was 
imminent because his immigration case still was 
before a federal judge. "I never fought violently 
or physically," he said. "They just grabbed me 
and injected me with a sleeping drug."

The first time immigration agents tried to deport 
Michel Shango, he slammed his head, hard, against 
the outside of the van that had come to pick him 
up at Atlanta's city jail. Instead of being 
driven to the airport, then flown to the 
Democratic Republic of Congo, he was brought back 
to the jail so his wound could be tended to.

"I asked him why he feared being returned back to 
his country," an immigration officer wrote of the 
incident. Shango, now 42, replied that he had 
been a journalist and had written articles 
critical of the Congolese government. "Detainee 
stated . . . that he might as well die trying to 
avoid deportation," a second officer wrote, 
"because they will kill him as soon as he gets to the D.R. of the Congo."

Until early 1996, Shango worked in Congo, 
ghostwriting articles and supplying information 
to foreign correspondents about the repressive 
administration of President Mobutu Sese Seko, he 
said in telephone interviews from locations in 
Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, where friends 
are now helping him hide. Eventually Shango was 
arrested, he and two of his lawyers said, but he 
escaped to Canada, then settled in North 
Carolina, where he started a limousine business 
with a cousin in Charlotte. He married an 
American, who at first offered to help him become 
a citizen. The marriage dissolved. He applied for 
political asylum. He was turned down.

He was remarried to a Congolese woman by the time 
immigration officers came to his house at 4:30 
one morning in May 2006. As his wife and their 
three American-born children cried at the 
frightening scene, the officers led him away at gunpoint.

On Feb. 28, 2007, three months after the first 
deportation attempt was aborted because of the 
head-banging incident, seven guards arrived at 
the Atlanta jail to make a second attempt. Shango 
glanced at his watch and noted that it was 1:45 
p.m. "They pushed me against the wall," he 
recalled. "They pulled my pants down." His 
medical log shows that he was given seven shots 
in his right buttock and right shoulder before he boarded the airplane.

The log says his only psychological problem was "anxiety disorder."

By the time Shango reached Congo, records show, 
he had been injected with 32.5 milligrams of 
Haldol and 7.5 milligrams of Ativan. As he was 
thrown into a prison after he got off the plane, 
and even as friends helped him escape, he was so 
disoriented, he said, that he did not fully know 
where he was. For two weeks, Shango said, "It was 
like I was dreaming. . . . I started crying, 
crying, crying all day long. . . . I was like 
crazy, because [of] the drugs, knocking me down."

* * *

Of all the detainees who have been forcibly 
drugged, only two have drawn much public 
attention. Neither, in the end, was deported. And 
compared with other deportees, neither got large 
doses of sedatives. But publicity about their 
cases sent shock waves through the immigration 
bureaucracy. Raymond Soeoth, a Christian minister 
from Indonesia, had tried and failed to win 
asylum in the United States. While in custody at 
an immigration compound near Los Angeles, his 
medical log notes, Soeoth, now 39, he said he 
would kill himself if deported -- a statement his lawyers say he never made.

On Dec. 7, 2004, he was injected in the left 
buttock with five milligrams of Haldol and four 
milligrams of Cogentin before being taken to the 
airport. As it turned out, his deportation was 
canceled before takeoff because immigration 
officials had not alerted airline security in Singapore, a stopover point.

Amadou Diouf came to the United States from 
Senegal as a student in 1996 and got a degree in 
information systems from California State 
University at Northridge. He married a U.S. 
citizen and was trying to change his immigration 
status when, in March 2005, he was arrested and 
brought to the same compound as Soeoth.

Eleven months later, as he was still appealing 
his case and, according to his lawyers, had a 
court order blocking his deportation, immigration 
officers came for him and took him to the airport for the trip back to Senegal.

At first, records show, Diouf, now 32, was calm. 
He was already sitting in a window seat, 4A, when 
he demanded to speak to the plane's captain. He 
"became more agitated, anxious and loud in his 
dialogue," according to the medical log. A nurse 
said he would be given "some calming medicine," 
but when Diouf saw the needle, he lunged. Guards 
"proceeded to take down the detainee to the 
ground" in the plane's galley, and the nurse 
injected him with five milligrams of Haldol, two 
milligrams of Ativan and two milligrams of Cogentin.

At that point, the guards and nurse called off 
the trip. Diouf was returned to his cell. In 
early May 2007, a lawyer for the American Civil 
Liberties Union of Southern California was 
drafting a lawsuit on behalf of Soeoth and Diouf 
and told a local newspaper, the Los Angeles Daily 
Journal, about their sedations. Across the 
continent, inside the immigration health 
division's headquarters in downtown Washington, 
the publicity's effect was electric.

The next day, the chief of psychiatry for the 
division's aviation medicine branch dispatched a 
memo. "I have stopped all planned non-psychiatric 
behavioral escorts, of which 10 are currently 
planned," he wrote, until government lawyers 
"have formalized policy in regards to this type of escort activity."

A month and a half later, the medical escort 
rules were changed. Except in psychiatric cases, 
according to a confidential June 21 memo from 
ICE, the health division "must have a court order 
to assist. . . . [ICE in] removal of problematic 
detainees." In January, the language was made 
even stronger: "DIHS may only involuntarily 
sedate an alien to facilitate removal where the 
government has obtained a court order. There are no exceptions to this policy."

The newest rules were issued less than three 
weeks before the government tentatively settled 
the lawsuit with Soeoth and Diouf, who are now 
out of custody. The government is no longer 
trying to deport Soeoth; Diouf is still fighting to remain in the country.

How well the government is following its new 
rules is unclear. Asked how many court orders the 
government has sought, immigration officials said 
that none "have been issued to involuntarily 
sedate an alien for removal purposes," but they 
declined to discuss whether any requests are pending.

In one known case in which government lawyers 
sought a court order, they withdrew the request 
after a congressman intervened. On Oct. 1, a 
federal judge in Texas was asked for permission 
to sedate Rrustem Neza. Immigration officers had 
canceled their first attempt to deport him to 
Albania because he created a scene at the 
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, screaming, "I am not a terrorist."

One week after the government filed its motion, 
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), a former judge, 
wrote to the court, saying he had "grave 
concerns" about the government's desire to 
medicate his constituent to deport him. "Mr. Neza 
fled Albania after telling a crowd in Tropoje the 
names of the men who were seen killing Azem 
Hajdari, who organized a student movement against 
the Communist Party. Mr. Neza's cousins were 
fatally shot while fleeing with him," the 
congressman wrote. "[S]edating Mr. Neza amounts 
to a death sentence for an innocent man."

Last March, after Gohmert had spoken about Neza's 
case with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 
and after he had introduced legislation to block 
Neza's deportation, the issue was dropped.

* * *

In at least one instance since the rules were 
changed, the government apparently drugged a 
deportee without permission from a judge. Maher 
Ayoub, now 44, was sent back to Egypt last 
August. A month later, immigration officials told 
Congress that they had not yet asked for a court order in any case.

Ayoub had thwarted the first attempt to deport 
him, a few months earlier, by sitting in a van 
and demanding all the paperwork in his 
immigration file. He said he spent the next three 
months in segregation in an Elizabeth, N.J., 
detention center. The next time they tried to 
send him home, immigration officers were 
determined to make sure he would go quietly.

His record offers contradictory evidence about 
whether there was psychiatric justification for 
the drugs he got, though it seems to suggest that 
there was not. A one-page "patient summary" for 
Ayoub says "Med/Psych Alert Documents: None." His 
medical escort log labels him a mental health 
case and says he had a "depressed mood" and an "anxiety state."

A handwritten note in his escort file, from a 
psychiatrist who saw him at the Elizabeth center, 
first says Ayoub was not likely to endanger 
himself or anyone else -- then, lower on the same 
page, says he might. On the next page of the file 
is another note, this one written two days before 
his flight, from the psychiatrist in charge of 
aviation medicine. It says that Ayoub's case is a 
"behavioral escort," not a psychiatric one, and 
that the nurse "is only to give medications to 
the patient if he agrees to take them. He will 
only use involuntary treatment if the patient is 
at imminent risk of hurting himself or others."

That is not what happened.

"Detainee tearful and wringing hands," his 
medical log begins. An hour later, it says: 
"Detainee increasingly agitated and resisting 
clothing change. Detainee is now crying and 
screaming" at two guards. A nurse at the 
Elizabeth detention center slid two milligrams of 
the anti-anxiety drug, Ativan, into his left shoulder.

Immigration officials said his deportation was 
"consistent" with the June policy that allows 
medication only when a detainee "may be a risk to himself or others."

"I was feeling my head was leaving my body," 
Ayoub remembers. "I was losing control over my 
body." He was groggy but awake when he arrived 
with guards and the nurse at New York's John F. 
Kennedy International Airport and boarded the nonstop flight to Egypt.

Before the plane took off, he remembers, he 
called over a flight attendant and "asked them to 
tell the pilot I didn't want to leave." The nurse 
stuck a needle into his right arm this time. That injection put him to sleep.

Staff researcher Julie Tate and database editor 
Sarah Cohen contributed to this report.

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