Published January 1, 2021 by Nan Mykel

On the farm my grandmother used to say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.”  She said “harm,” not “hurt,” I realize now.  I realize and understand how the “n” word can hurt, but until today I had not realized how the “alien” word could hurt the recipient but also affect the listener or reader.  It gave me the creeps when I came across it in an article about ICE today. And…

I broke my rule about noting the source of information worth re-visiting, and I am unable to find once again the full details about various punishments against the female detainees who reported their gynecological abuse at the hands of and/or direction of Dr. Mahendre Amin at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. The original report was made by a former nurse at the center in September. Women who went on a hunger strike following the alleged abuse in detention had their water rationed, and two were deported.

At some point ICE reported it had quit sending women to ICDC for treatment. Forty female detainees submitted testimony on their alleged gynecological abuse while in ICE custody to the Middle District of Georgia Federal Court on Dec. 21. I have no additional information about the current status of the whistleblowers’ punishment. (Partial source for this story is Victoria Bekiempis in the December 22, 2020 Guardian.)

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