A plane carrying African asylum seekers due to take off from Alexandria, Louisiana was cancelled with minutes to spare after advocacy groups published affidavits by detainees of torture by ICE agents. The affidavits listed violent tactics that ICE officials used to pressure detainees to submit to deportation, including choking, beating, and forcing the asylum seekers to agree to expulsion by threatening them placement in Covid-19 wards. ICE cancelled the deportation “to allow any potential victims or witnesses an opportunity to be interviewed,” and it “will conduct an agency review of recent use-of-force reports related to individuals on this flight.” ICE was accused of similar abuse in October, but denied the claims and did not change its policy of accelerated deportations.

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Deportation of Africans cancelled after reports of torture by ICE