CKUT Radio: Detainees Hunger Strike in New Jersey

Anonyme, Miércoles, Agosto 13, 2003 - 00:31

Stefan Christoff


Listen to an interview with Jeannette Gabriel of the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee about the ongoing hunger strike of two detainees at the Passaic County Jail in New Jersey. The hunger striking is in protest of systemic injustices of US immigration policy. Nigel Moccado, a legal resident from India, has been on a hunger strike for over 50 days, and Henmauth Mohabir, a permanent resident from Guyana, has completed a fourth week without solid food.

Both detainees join the untold thousands of immigrants being held in Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service jails without being charged with any crime. In both cases the detainees are in jail because of past offenses. The Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services - formerly the INS - have a green light to forego due process within the context of the Bush Administrations War of Terror.

-> For more information visit New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee:

-> For up to date news and information on the situation also visit:


New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee


I want to begin with a brief quotation from Dalia Hashad, an ACLU attorney, which appeared in the Herald News last Saturday:

"Twenty or 30 years from now this will be remembered as one of the bleakest periods in American history. Don't let it be said that you did nothing about it."
We are the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee, a group of citizen activists from this area. And we are here to do something about it.

We are here to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Passaic County Jail--all of them. But we are here particularly to applaud the courage and perseverance of two of the immigrant detainees being held here, among the hundreds who have been held over the past couple of years, and among the many who have previously held hunger strikes in this facility.

They are Nigel Maccado and Hemnauth Mohabir.

Nigel is from India. He is 54 years old. He has been subsisting on only water and juice for over three weeks. He has a heart condition and is being denied medication. Hemnauth, from Guyana, is 42. He is a permanent resident with a green card. He has been virtually without solid food for over two weeks. He is a musician and an artist. He was detained at JFK last April, as he returned from Guyana after a visit to his mother in a medical emergency. He has been denied contact with his wife and child since. Hemnauth has written to us of the conditions inside the Passaic County Jail. :

'The food is very small in portion and strange in combination, like macaroni and peanut butter....The jail is roach infested, the bathroom shower goes from 160 to 60 degrees in one minute....The police do shakedowns...on a regular basis with a dog....A policeman would be marching on the metal table yelling for us to keep our heads on the bars, the dog would be barking and jumping....One day a detainee was in the bathroom during a shakedown, he was pulled out and beaten. I saw his head bleeding....

'In March [during an earlier hunger strike], 8 of us was picked put and put in the bullpen...the police came in the dorm with their dog. It jumped at one prisoner and the prisoner pulled away. A policeman ran up ...and hit him on his head and pushed his face into the ground. One... came up and push his finger in my face and said, Do you want to say something? Two more officers jumped on the other prisoner and was trying to handcuff him....I saw them hitting him in his ribs and he was yelling "Look, my hands, put the cuffs on!"...On the night of the second day they came to do roll call with a dog. A senior officer...started cursing me, he said get off your bed you f-ing asshole" I said it didn't call for that. Then he and another officer came in and put us against the wall. The first officer slammed my ribs. I said I'm sorry, please don't hit me, then he hit me harder. I felt my breath cut for a minute....Later they came in in full madness [with a dog]. They threw all the mattresses on the floor and scattered all our papers, took our towels and sheets and put them in the toilet, and tore up a Bible...They [scare us] ending our hunger strike...Then...they came upstairs in the dorm with a pellet gun a dog and metal detectors and searched and took all the toilet paper, detergent, and extra blankets. They poured lotions on the towels. There were reports of other beatings. They spit on one detainee. They insult us, saying "You f-ing immigrants." I can go on and on....'

CMAQ: Vie associative

Collectif à Québec: n'existe plus.

Impliquez-vous !


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