The 10 women in the complaint were all mistreated by Amin, with six of them still locked up at Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia. Among the 10 is Yanira, who Vice News reported last month has lived in the U.S. since she was three, is the mom of an 11-year-old U.S. citizen, and risks being deported to a country she’s visited only a few times. She described her procedure with Amin as both physically and emotionally traumatizing.
“The pain was excruciating,” she said in the complaint. “I have survived extreme sexual violence, and this felt like being raped again. I kept squirming up into the chair. I told him, ‘no,’ but he kept going.” The complaint says that “[i]n multiple instances, Amin performed invasive medical procedures on Yanira, even after Yanira told Amin that all of her reproductive organs had previously been removed.”
Other women said that their appointments continued even though language issues prevented them from giving consent or even knowing what was happening to them. “He [Amin] did not explain anything, and he did not show me the picture from my ultrasound,” Tatiana said.
“I did not understand what was happening or why—they did not have an interpreter for me,” she continued. “They did not give me any paperwork about the appointment or my diagnosis.” Another woman, Soraya, said she “had no idea what they were going to do with me because they were speaking to me in English, and I only speak Spanish. They never used an interpreter. They also never asked about my medical history nor if I was allergic to anything.”
“Even in cases where there was no language barrier,” the complaint continues, “the women describe being pressured and humiliated by Amin.”
Attorneys said that only one of the women from the complaint has been released by ICE officials to continue her case in the U.S. Six are still detained at ICDC, and three have already been deported. ICE has in fact attempted to deport several other victims, with court pressure from advocates leading to the Trump administration agreeing to not take any further action on this cruel effort until President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.
Elora Mukherjee, Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School director and an attorney who represents two of the victims, told Vice News the court agreement to not deport a number of the women is significant. “This is an acknowledgement by the federal government that it is critically important that these women have a meaningful opportunity to participate in the federal investigation related to medical atrocities at Irwin,” she said.
But all these women should also be released—and Irwin should be shut down. “These women have shown tremendous courage in telling their stories and fighting to have their human rights recognized,” said Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative director Laura Rivera said. “[W]e’re calling upon our communities and elected officials to address the appalling human rights abuses that occur at ICDC and at ICE facilities across the country. It’s past time these prisons are closed for good.”