Immigration | Human Rights Violations | USA
Podcast: African Asylum Seekers’ Tell-All Tale of ICE Torture by The WRAP
Before and during ICE-Air deportations back to harm on Omni Air International
Following two ICE-Air mass deportation flights to Cameroon tracked by Tom Cartwright of Witness at the Border in the fall of 2020, I couldn’t escape the rumblings of attorneys and advocates for the roughly 80 individuals the US government went to extraordinary lengths — and taxpayer expense — to return to a country wracked by protracted violence:
When “Ray” protested being returned to certain harm, he says the ICE Military “bagged and tied” him to force all others to comply, said one.
“Godswill” states that he was “stuffed into a sack” by ICE Special Forces and carried onto the plane like trash, recounted another.
“Castillo” claims he was bussed in a “bag” while also in five-point restraints from the detention center to the plane, and not “untied” until mid-way across the Atlantic, stated a third, horrified.
That was the first I’d ever heard of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “military.” And for the life of me, I could not figure out how any grown human gets stuffed into a sack!
I decided to track down and interview as many African asylum seekers as I could find with first-hand experience of the only air-charter operator willing to fly long-haul deportation missions for ICE: Omni Air International, aka “the Death Plane.” The results of this months-long investigation are now the subject of a complaint filed with the US Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on October 13, 2021, by seven co-signing immigrants’ rights organizations.
In this episode of Witness Radio, you will hear the testimonies of “Ray,” “Castillo,” and “Godswill,” and how agents of ICE Enforcement and Removals Operations (ERO) hacked a full-body restraint called The WRAP, considered a “life-saving device” by its manufacturer, Safe Restraints, Inc., to coerce, threaten, punish, force compliance, and even torture Black asylum seekers during deportations on Omni Death Planes.
And there’s more…
Not included in the complaint is that the Death Plane’s parent company, Air Transport Services Group, is a publicly-traded company. And its biggest shareholder is Amazon.com, meaning the world’s richest online retailer isn’t just wrapping packages, it’s complicit in WRAPping people as well, and trafficking them back to certain harm.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Complaint alleges ICE tortured African asylum seekers using restraint device during deportation
Medium: Like Boxcars in the Sky
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