A judge's order to force feed 10 Muslim refugees protesting conditions at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Center in Miami has sparked protests.
The hunger strike began Dec. 2. They are protesting what they say are abusive conditions and the fact that they were denied their right to a bond hearing, according to the Miami New Times.
“We came here to escape violence and danger in our country. But it seems like this place is like Guantánamo. ICE would rather force-feed hunger-strikers than listen to our basic demands for freedom,” Mahmudul Hasan, one of the "Krome 10," said, according to the New Times.
The decision to force-feed, handed down last week, sparked marches from immigration activists. The refugees ended the hunger strike once the judge's order came down, according to Christine Ho Director of Friends of Broward Detainees, an advocacy group.
“[ICE] is treating these people like they’ve been charged with something like terrorism, and they’re forcing them to do something with their bodies that’s against their will,” activist Elizabeth Taveras told the New Times. “We’re demanding the end to the criminalization of people’s bodies. We’re demanding the release of the detainees.”
The current group follows in the wake of a hunger strike carried about by 22 Sikh men who fled persecution in their homeland of Punjab, a state in the northwestern part of India, and ended up at another detention center in South Florida. The men, who were seeking asylum in America, entered the U.S. by way of Mexico after an eight-month journey. They were later transferred to Krome and released.
The Miami New Times has previously documented troubling conditions at the detention center.
"You get treated like an animal in there," Noel Covarrubia, a Venezuelan native who was detained at the facility for four years before he was deported earlier this year, said in August. "And this is all approved by ICE."
This post has been updated.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.