[Pnews] Judge Approves Force-Feeding of Bangladesh Detainees on Hunger Strike in Florida

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 22 10:56:53 EST 2015

  Judge Approves Force-Feeding of Bangladesh Detainees on Hunger Strike

© Sputnik/ Evgeny Biyatov

    A federal judge on Monday authorized the force-feeding of a group of
    immigration detainees in Florida who have been on a hunger strike
    for nearly three weeks.

Ten men, all from Bangladesh, began a hunger strike on December 2. As 
of Monday, seven still refused to eat, and were brought into the 
courtroom in wheelchairs, the Associated Press reported.

US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga granted a petition from Immigration 
and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security permitting involuntary 
blood draws and other medical procedures to monitor hunger-striker’s health.

On Monday, the judge authorized medical staff to restrain and force-feed 
the detainees through nasal-gastric tubes, if necessary, to save their 
lives, the AP reported.

"They are not likely to survive without compelled feeding," she said.

Speaking through an interpreter, Abdul Awal, 21, asked "How long are 
they going to force-feed us? We are willing to die."

Dalian Caraballo, a staff doctor at the facility where the men are 
detained, testified that the men are not in any immediate danger, but if 
they continue the hunger strike, they risk severe and permanent health 
complications, the AP reported.

The seven men continuing the hunger strike have each lost up to 15% 
of their total body weight since beginning the fast, Caraballo said. 
Administering liquid nutritional supplements through nasal-gastric tubes 
would be more comfortable for the men than feeding them intravenously, 
she added.

Awal said conditions in Bangladesh forced him and the other detainees 
to seek opportunities in the United States, and they risk death if they 
are deported.

"We would rather die here," Awal said.

All the detainees were arrested in Hidalgo, Texas, in 2014 and 2015, 
attempting to enter the United States.

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