US settles lawsuit over alleged forced drugging of immigrants

[JURIST] US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] has reached a settlement with two immigrants who said they were forcibly drugged with sedatives during deportation proceedings, CNN reported Friday. As part of the agreement, Raymond Soeoth, a minister from Indonesia, will receive $5,000 and will be allowed to stay in the US for at least two more years. Amadou Diouf, a Senegalese man married to a US citizen, will receive $50,000. An ICE spokesperson told CNN that the settlement and new policy requiring a court order before administering drugs to deportees reinforces the agency's dedication to assuring "safe, secure and humane conditions" for persons in ICE custody.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC) [advocacy website] in June 2007 brought the federal class action lawsuit [JURIST report] against the US on behalf of the deportees. In one incident from 2004, Soeoth claims that he was held down by ICE officers and injected with Haldol, a powerful anti-psychotic, despite refusing the medication. Diouf was allegedly injected with an unidentified psychotropic drug while resisting deportation in 2005. He was attempting to speak to pilots to inform them of his court-ordered stay of deportation [PDF text]. Neither of the men have a history of mental illness; the ACLU alleged the druggings were merely to silence them. CNN has more.

 

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