US immigration officers «used torture to force Africans to sign their own deportation orders»

US immigration officers «used torture to force Africans to sign their own deportation orders»

US Immigration officers allegedly tortured Cameroonian asylum seekers to force them to sign their own deportation orders. Lawyers and activists told The Guardian about this, describing the attempts of the authorities to take African migrants out of the country on the eve of the elections.

Many of the Cameroonian migrants in a Mississippi detention center refused to sign deportation orders for fear of death at the hands of the Cameroonian government forces responsible for the massacre of civilians, and due to pending asylum hearings.

According to numerous testimonies, detainees were strangled, beaten, doused with pepper spray and threatened with even more violence to force them to sign. Some were handcuffed by immigration and customs officials to be forcibly fingerprinted and used in place of signatures on deportation documents, whereby asylum seekers waive their rights to further immigration hearings and agree to deportation.

Lawyers and human rights activists said there has been a significant acceleration in deportations in recent weeks, a trend they believe is linked to the upcoming elections.

“The abuse of power that we are seeing, especially right now, against black immigrants is not new. But they are getting more serious. Said Cristina Fiallo, Executive Director of Freedom for Immigrants (FFI) Immigrant Rights Group. “In late September and early October this year, our hotline began receiving calls from Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants held in prisons throughout the country. They were threatened with deportation, often accompanied by physical violence. «

On October 13, a plane carrying 60 Cameroonian and 28 Congolese asylum seekers took off from Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas to take them to their home countries. The charter plane made stops in Senegal, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and then Kenya before flying back to Texas.

The deported Cameroonians were members of the Anglophone minority in the country, discriminated against and abused — including killings — by government security forces seeking to suppress the separatist movement.

A complaint filed by the FFI and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) cites eight cases of forced signatures or fingerprints on expulsion orders.