Friday, June 15, 2018

Emergency Request From Families For Freedom

Families For Freedom
June 14, 2018

A longtime member of Families For Freedom is in danger of being removed.

In protest of his prolonged detention, Pius Iyamu has been on hunger strike since May 11, 2018. In what appears to be retaliation for his strike, ICE and jail officials at Irwin County Correctional Facility indicated yesterday their intent to put Pius on a plane to Texas to facilitate his deportation in the coming days. As of this morning, neither Pius's wife nor Families For Freedom are aware of Pius's location.

In addition to the threat of removal, these officials told Pius that they would pursue criminal charges against him if he did not break his hunger strike. They are using the threat of further incarceration in an attempt to force him to relent to his removal after a period of brave and solitary resistance.

Families For Freedom has been in consistent contact with Pius and his family since 2013, when he was first detained by ICE. We supported Pius during his incarceration then, eventually helping him get released. He was arrested and incarcerated again in 2016, and has spent the intervening two years separated from his wife and daughters and detained in some of the worst facilities in the country.

He was arrested and incarcerated again in 2016, and has been separated from his wife and daughters since. One year ago, Pius filed a habeas corpus petition to challenge his prolonged detention, which the government has dragged its heels on despite no travel document being issued for his removal. Now, after keeping Pius in the dark about the status of his case for months, the government is acting suddenly in what appears to be retaliation for his hunger strike.

On the phone with us yesterday, Pius said the following: "I started this hunger strike because of the situation I am in. I have been held by ICE for two years with no court date. They have pushed me around from state to state, facility to facility, east to west coast. I have decided to go on hunger strike because I feel like someone needs to know what's going on with me... I am a father with a wife and daughters at home. They have a lot of medical issues and I am just trying to get back to them. It's hard. This is hard. All I am worried about now is my freedom. Any help and support that anyone can give to me will mean a lot. I just want to get free."

Please support Pius and his family by sharing this with your networks and contacting the Atlanta field office by phone and email.

Ask ICE to stop its coercive intimidation of Pius and demand he be released to his family.

Atlanta ERO Field Office Phone: 404-893-1210
Field Office Director Sean Gallagher
Deputy FOD George Sterling
Deportation Officer Michael Taylor

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