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African Asylum Seekers File Civil Rights Complaint Against ICE Over “Cruel, Inhumane” Restraints

HeadlineOct 15, 2021

A coalition of immigrant and racial justice organizations have filed a civil rights complaint denouncing Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s brutal assaults against African asylum seekers. The complaint details incidents that took place before or during deportation flights to Cameroon in October and November of last year. ICE officers are accused of placing asylum seekers in five-point shackles and further immobilizing them in a device called “the WRAP” for hours. The coalition, which includes the UndocuBlack Network and the Cameroon Advocacy Network, released this video along with the complaint that was filed on behalf of three asylum seekers.

Breanne Palmer: “The WRAP is intended for use in extreme situations. It is designed to restrain people in a seated position. Instead, the WRAP was used against these Black migrants, who were already restrained, to lock them into painful stress positions, with one man forced into a full-face hood. This is torture, as the United Nations has made clear.”

One of the Cameroonian asylum seekers in the complaint said he has asthma and couldn’t breathe while he was placed in the WRAP. He said, “I truly felt I was meeting my death in that moment.” Another asylum seeker suffers from a heart condition and reported experiencing chest pain after being restrained in the device.

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