By Gene Johnson / Associated Press
SEATTLE — A new federal lawsuit claims an immigrant detained at a privately run jail in Washington state was beaten and placed in solitary confinement because of his role in a hunger strike.
The Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as GEO Group, which operates the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
The organization says Jesus Chavez Flores is one of more than 120 immigrant detainees at the facility who began a hunger strike Feb. 7 to protest the conditions of their confinement. The lawsuit alleges that a guard punched him in the eye to retaliate, and that he’s been held in isolation since Feb. 10.
ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said the agency did not immediately have any comment about Chavez’s allegations.