Nepalese, Bangladeshi & Indian asylum-seekers tied & thrown alive into body bags

While Donald Trump continues to relish his image as a top class Muslim-hater, rights activists and some quarter of the US media are beginning to question if Barrack Obama is any better.

The US authorities are being accused of inhuman and degrading treatment of Muslim asylum seekers from South Asia before they were put on a plane back to their country of origin last weekend. A New York-based rights activist has warned that should something happen to these men as they arrive back in the countries they were seeking safety from then Mr Obama would have ‘blood’ on his hands.

Drum_protest in New York
Participants of a recent protest programme at Jackson Heights, New York, against the forced removal of the 85 South Asians. Source: Facebook page of DRUM

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency deported the 85 Muslims who were seeking asylum in America after, it claims, their applications for asylum were turned down by the immigration court. While the mass deportation had Nepalese and Indian nationals in them, it is only Bangladeshis who have so far been exposed to the media.

Footage from a Bangladeshi TV channel shows a group of these deported asylum seekers recounting their ‘horror’ while in detention and also as they forcibly made the journey back home.

Talking to reporters at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, a deportee said they were tied with ‘security blankets’ that rendered it impossible for them to move. “We were unable to breathe, like being choked to death,” the unnamed deportee said last Tuesday upon his arrival in Dhaka.

“They tied my hands to my waist with chains. I was also chained to my legs. They didn’t feed us for the whole journey. We have never seen such horror in our life,” another deportee was quoted as saying in a translated version available online.

“So we’ve been trying to bring this issue to light. You know, as rightly talked about, Donald Trump’s dreams are now a Obama reality” rights activist Fahd Ahmed told Democracy Now! which is an award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Mr Ahmed, the executive director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (Drum) which is based in New York, confirmed that the deportees were tortured, tied and put into body bags in the process of the deportation – alive!

Host Amy Goodman sought to reconfirm the reference to body bags to which Mr Ahmed said, “Yes. So, you know, the amount of torture that happens, in detention and in the process that they’re deported, is endless. When they were on hunger strikes, they were being forcibly catheterized. They got force-feeding orders against them. And then, as they were being deported, they were tied up and put into body bags.”

“All of those on last weekend’s flight had been provided the opportunity to present their cases in immigration court, were issued final orders of removal, and had no outstanding stays that would prohibit their removal,” an ICE official was quoted by Democracy Now!.

It is not known how many Nepalese or Indian asylum seekers were in the group of deported men. However, at least 27 of them have now been confirmed as Bangladeshi nationals, as reported by the media. If they were the only Bangladeshis among the deportees then rest of the 58 asylum-seekers should be from Nepal and India.

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