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The Butler County Jail--one of four county jails in Ohio that has been detaining immigrants--is getting out of the business of “civil” immigration detention, and the community is celebrating. Advocates and lawyers spoke with reporters about this development in a Zoom meeting on May 28, which included remarks from people who had spent time in that jail. Sandra Ramírez described what it felt like to visit her brother at the Butler jail every week during the time he was detained there by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Watching him lose weight and become a shadow of himself was so painful for her, as a 16 year-old, and the scars remain with her and her family today. A year from now, Sandra hopes that immigrants are no longer detained in jails for ICE, and that everyone who needs it can have a path to citizenship. Read more about this important development at http://ohioimmigrant.org/. If you missed it, watch the press conference here.
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Please see a summary of the six letters we sent to heads of state and other high-level officials in Colombia, El Salvador, and Honduras, urging their swift action in response to human rights abuses occurring in their countries. We join with civil society groups in Latin America to: -protect people living under threat -demand investigations into human rights crimes -bring human rights criminals to justice IRTF’s Rapid Response Network volunteers write letters in response to urgent human rights cases each month. We send copies of these letters to US ambassadors, embassy human rights officers, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, regional representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and desk officers at the US State Department. To read the letters, see https://www.irtfcleveland.org/content/rrn, or ask us to mail you hard copies.
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The FANG Collective and Detention Watch Network are celebrating the news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will cut the contract at the Bristol County Detention Center in Massachusetts. Along with the end of the Irwin Detention Center contract in Georgia, also announced today, this is the first time ICE has cut a contract for a detention center in recent years. The announcement signals a major win for people who’ve been detained at the facility and bravely spoken out against its abuses and for local organizations who have long fought to shut it down. The announcement comes five months after the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office found that the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office violated the civil rights of currently detained people in ICE custody
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Together with the movement against militarism in Colombia, we denounce the sexual violence committed by members of the ESMAD anti-riot police that also caused a young woman to commit suicide. We raise our voices in outrage at the systematic sexual and gender violence carried out by the Army and the Public Force members. These violations are a serious expression of patriarchal violence exercised under the power of an institutional armed actor, which legalizes and legitimizes the idea that power is exercised over the bodies of women, teenagers, and girls. We join with civil society organizations across Colombia who are organizing resistance to war and speaking out against all forms of violence.