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Indians languishing in US detention center

August 21, 2004 12:15 IST

More than 200 immigrants, including Indians, arrested in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, are languishing in Wackenhut Detention Center in New York City without being charged and without access to lawyers.

The immigrants have become so desperate seeking better conditions and an early conclusion of their cases, that at least 175 of them resorted to hunger strike last Monday.

The New York Daily News quoted an Indian immigrant Makhan Singh as saying in a telephone interview that no one is eating.

Singh, an immigrant from India, is in his thirties, and has a wife and two children who are American citizens. He has been in the detention center for last six months.

"They bring us food and we send it back," Singh was quoted as saying.

The Wackenhut prison, the report said, is a converted warehouse building with no windows in the middle of a warehouse district in Springfield Gardens, Queens.

It is drab and anonymous and out of the way, which works out well for keeping the men and women imprisoned in it "out of New York's collective consciousness," the report said.

But the detainees are determined to do whatever it takes to let everybody know about the prison and what goes on inside. "We need people to know about our situation," Singh told the paper. "We must be heard, and we will starve
if we have to."


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