UN says US force-feeding detained immigrants may violate torture convention 


The United Nations human rights office says America's force-feeding of detained immigrants who were on a hunger strike could violate the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

The Associated Press reports the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said Thursday that the force-feeding of detainees could be deemed as “ill-treatment” that violates the agreement.

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The U.N.’s response comes weeks after reports surfaced that a detention facility in Texas run by Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) was force-feeding several immigrant detainees who were on a prolonged hunger strike.

The AP reported last month that the detainees are mostly from India and Cuba and some have not eaten for more than 30 days. The detainees were reportedly force-fed through nasal tubes, which led to vomiting and “persistent nose bleeds,” an attorney told the news outlet.

ICE obtained a court order last month to begin the force-feeding and hydration of those on hunger strikes.

The Hill has reached out to ICE for comment on the U.N.’s response.

“ICE does not retaliate in any way against hunger strikers. ICE explains the negative health effects of not eating to our detainees. For their health and safety, ICE closely monitors the food and water intake of those detainees identified as being on a hunger strike,” the agency said in a statement to the AP this week.

The reports of force-feeding in the detention centers sparked outrage among several Democratic lawmakers, with 14 of them sending a letter to ICE asking for more information on the matter.

“It is critical that ICE commit to ending this practice,” read the letter organized by Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarHouse Dems rallying behind border deal with 55 miles of barriers O'Rourke counters Trump's border claims in rival El Paso rally Dems call for 'strategic investments' while touring southern border MORE (D-Texas), who visited the facility in question.