Immigrants in a U.S. detention center for immigration and customs enforcement (ice) in Georgia are being subjected to horrific conditions and treatment, including “abrasive medical neglect” and a high hysterectomy among women, according to a whistleblower complaint filed by several legal advocacy groups. on behalf of a nurse working there.
The nurse, Dawn Wooten, has been practicing for more than 1
Immigrants who spoke out against these conditions were regularly pushed to isolation, the complaint said. Wooten says she was degraded and reprimanded when she talked about this practice, according to an interview with Intercept.
Intercept also reported that Wooten’s account was “supported by interviews with another current member of Irwin’s medical staff – who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation – and four people currently or recently detained there”.
According to the new complaint, Wooten reported that an alarmingly high hysterectomy – an operation in which part or all of the uterus is removed – was performed on Spanish-speaking immigrants, many of whom did not seem to understand why they had undergone the procedure.
She said an off-site doctor allegedly performed surgeries on women who complained of heavy menstrual cycles, but that many women apparently did not understand what had happened. In many cases, nurses got consent from patients by “just google Spanish”, the complaint claims.
“Everyone he sees has a hysterectomy – almost everyone,” Wooten said. “It is his specialty, he is the uterine collector. Everyone’s uterus can not be so bad. ”
The complaint also alleges violations of health and safety in connection with the procedures. One woman said she was not anesthetized properly during a procedure and overheard the doctor say he had mistakenly removed the wrong ovary, making her unable to have children. Another went in to have a cyst drained and eventually got a hysterectomy instead, the complaint said.
“When I met all these women who had had operations, I thought it was like an experimental concentration camp. It was as if they were experimenting with our bodies, ”said one prisoner according to the complaint.
Project South, one of the human rights groups that filed the complaint, had previously filed a 2017 report on Irwin’s ill-treatment of detainees, including unhygienic conditions, inedible food and denial of medical care to prisoners. “This place is not equipped for humans,” an Irwin detainee told Project South at the time.
Conditions have “only worsened” in light of Covid-19 threats, the complaint says. The facility has refused to test detained immigrants for Covid-19 in a timely manner, concealed the number of positive tests and mixed those who have been exposed to Covid-19 with those who have not, according to the complaint.
“There is no social distance in a detention center,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, a human rights lawyer at Project South. “We call for people to be released immediately, and we have called for the closure of this facility for a long time.”
Shahshahani said the groups also plan to submit these documents to Congress as well as to the United Nations. The United Nations defines “the introduction of measures to prevent intra-group births” as genocide, a crime under international law.
“These are gross human rights violations and the US government should be held accountable,” she said. She added that the Irwin Detention Center is not unique: Project South filed similar complaints against the Stewart Detention Center, another location in Georgia where detainees have alleged abuse.
LaSalle Corrections did not respond to a request for comment. When a phone was reached per. Telephone, an employee of Irwin County Detention Center declined to comment or respond to how many immigrants are currently housed there, but according to the company’s website, the location houses up to 1,201 people. Ice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.