For Immediate Release
Concerning Human Rights Violation Reports Emerging from Stewart Detention Center
Detention Watch Network and Georgia Detention Watch Raise Alarm Over Reports Coming Out of Stewart in Lumpkin, GA
Lumpkin, GA - Reports emerging from Stewart Detention Center this week, from attorneys, local advocates, family members of people detained inside, and directly from those detained, are raising alarms for human rights watchdogs this week. In response to protests over inhumane conditions, reports are emerging of an inappropriately punitive response which allegedly included suspension of religious services, regular meal service, phone access and visitation.
“I personally met a family that had driven over 900 miles from Chicago to visit a loved one,” expressed Anton Flores-Maisonet of Georgia Detention Watch. “How heart wrenching to see a sister of someone detained travel such distance only to be turned away without explanation and with her concerns only heightened.”
“We are deeply concerned for people currently detained at Stewart. As communication in and out of the facility has been limited, it has been difficult to monitor the situation,” said Silky Shah, co-director of the Detention Watch Network. “Immediate investigative action should be taken and Corrections Corporation of America, the Stewart County Commissioners, and ICE should publish findings from their investigation as a first step toward ensuring transparent management of the facility.”
This week’s escalation in alleged human rights violations comes on the heels of internal protests by people detained at the facility, including a hunger strike in summer of 2014, and after consistent and ongoing complaints about lack of due process, extremely poor food quality, inadequate medical care, and other inhumane and unlivable conditions. Work stoppages and hunger strikes have been among the only forms of resistance available to detained people at Stewart and at detention centers nationwide.
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Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.