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Russians trapped in immigration prison are preparing a petition to the State Department: what do they demand

The Russians are preparing a petition to the State Department to draw attention to the terrible conditions of detention of people in immigration prisons. APM USA telegtam channel this is an initiative of Russian-speaking people who want to help everyone who has gone through or is going through trials in “detention centers”.

Photo: IStock

Anton created the APM USA Telegtam channel to help people in a difficult situation that he himself went through. In early June, he crossed the US border through Mexico, after which he stayed in the cub for 2 months and was released on bail. He is currently in San Francisco. Together with friends, he is preparing a petition to the State Department about what is happening in the detention centers.

“We have found high-ranking people who are interested in helping people who are in detention centers. But like everywhere else, it's not that simple. Now we need to start a petition, and for this we need stories of real people who have gone through a detente (or those who are still in prison). All stories will be edited by our lawyers, they will help structure the text for filing a petition, after all the texts will be translated into English, compiled and sent to the State Department, he says. “It’s not just about filing some kind of petition somewhere, people from the department are interested in accepting and considering the petition, the main thing is to start the process now.”

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He and his friends are already out of detention, they have survived these monstrous months and know what it is like to be in prison, so they are trying to somehow influence the system.

For the petition, stories of imprisonment are collected, they will be sent along with the petition for consideration by the State Department. Anton calls not to be indifferent and share your story. He says that if you are afraid for your anonymity, then you can not indicate any personal data in the history, everything is at your discretion.

“Your stories will help people avoid future imprisonment,” Anton writes in his channel.

How to write a story

  • Enter the prisoner's name, date of birth and and prisoner number (Agency #). Contact for communication with you (phone number, email, telegram). You can skip this step if you don't want to share your personal information.
  • When (date) and how did they cross the US border, in which cub did they sit.
  • Briefly about why you fled from your home country, what happened.
  • Your history of imprisonment. What happened in the cub. What did you have to deal with (terrible conditions of detention, rude treatment, violence, deceit, hunger strike, misleading, etc.)
  • Consequences of detenshen (health problems, psychological trauma, etc.).

The organization has already started collecting and organizing stories for the petition.

“In addition to the general petition, we will also submit lists of people demanding release. To do this, in addition to the history of the prisoner, we need information about the prisoner,” says Anton.

If your loved one is currently in infancy, you can fill out form. APM USA will submit lists of people to the State Department to assist in exiting detention centers.

Here is the story of a young woman who experienced all the horrors of the migration prison.

Reasons for flight

On February 28, after the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation published information that donations would be regarded as treason, the young couple left Russia, their home, due to the outbreak of war with Ukraine.

They crossed the border on September 6 by car to San Isidro.

“I saw my husband every time we were transported ... I didn’t think that I would ever use this word for us, but as they say, don’t promise,” says the woman, who did not want to give her name.

On September 9th, they were transferred to the San Louise Detention in Arizona, this is a transshipment detention. On September 12 at 10 pm, the couple was told to pack their things, they were sent to Louisiana. It took more than a day to get it done in San Louise, get to the airport, fly to Louisiana, get to the cub and get it done, as the woman says. The last time she saw her husband was on a plane.

On September 14, at approximately 3:XNUMX am, they were taken to the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center. Then the woman found out that her husband was taken to the Richwood Correctional Center. In a month she was released on $15000 bail, through the efforts of her family, sponsor, and lawyer.

Her husband is still in the cub, he was denied bail.

Conditions of detention

The girl says that it was very cold in the cub. “To a greater extent, not even the cold itself, but the streams of cold air from which you cannot hide. Lying on the floor on a thin rug, the cold was felt by the kidneys, so you had to lie on your sides, ”she recalls.

There was also no hot drink, and they were taken to the shower for the first time after 5 days of detention.

“The most important thing is that on the first night, it felt like at 2 o'clock, an officer came and called me. We talked in the dining room, he gave, it seems, 4 sets of documents for signing, said that my trial was scheduled for March 23, the woman says. - I asked what kind of documents they were, and he replied that these were documents for political asylum, as I asked. He didn't let me read them."

“I didn’t know how I could not sign the documents, I actually applied for political asylum and was psychologically ready to follow the orders of the authorities, because I have no other choice, because we are looking for protection here and rely on a well-functioning system. The officer said that I would soon go to the sponsor. I heard that you can not trust the word of employees. The officer’s words reassured me a little, but I didn’t believe them,” she says.

When the girl was released after another 34 days, she read in a Telegram chat that prisoners were allowed to sign documents on voluntary consent to detention in detensheni. It became clear why they do it at night, when a person is sleepy, alone and does not understand what is happening, as the woman says.

“A separate type of execution is the transportation of us as real criminals in handcuffs, fixed on a chain wrapped around the waist. With handcuffs on their legs, which are not designed for this, so they squeeze and rub. The women spent 12 hours in handcuffs when moving to Louisiana, removed them on the plane. The men were handcuffed until they were young, i.e. day,” the woman says.

She stayed in the South Louisiana cub for a month.

“I am a strong woman and mentally I was ready to spend 3 months in a cub. In the early days, we asked the girls we saw on walks how things were going here. We heard that they are imprisoned for 2-3-4-5 months and everyone advised us to quickly look for a lawyer and ask for bail, we should not hope that they would just let us out, - the woman says. - Our flow was 53 people, about 26 Russian speakers. A month later, out of 26 people, 2 adult women got out for medical reasons, and I was one of the 4 who were released on bail. A month later, 4 were released on bail and 2 were released after the interview.”

Health care

The woman says the medical care was terrible. She said that in order to be accepted on a complaint, it was necessary to write a request and wait for a call for about a week. “Practically everyone had problems with digestion and constipation, someone was given medication, someone suffered. Someone waited for several hours in the medical until they call the doctor. With me, one girl was waiting for a call for several hours in the hallway of the medical, it turned out that the nurse put her ID in her pocket and forgot about her. Plus, everyone suffered because of the extreme cold, ”the woman says.


The attitude of the guards should be noted separately, as the woman says. “Our officers were mostly blacks. There were no racist issues among us prisoners. But it was felt in relation to black guards in relation to white prisoners,” she says.

“We were celebrating the birthday of one of the girls and started dancing the Armenian folk dance, the officer told us to stop doing it, because 2 black women were sitting nearby and we are preventing them from watching TV. Women, obviously, we did not interfere. Usually, there was a noise of voices in the hall and it did not bother anyone and no one shut anyone up. We said that we are celebrating AR, to which the guard replied “I also have AR, so what?” - says the woman.

“Because I complained about the cold, we were all punished. Our dorm was on duty and we washed the toilets and showers, probably like no one had ever cleaned them. About 12 people, we did this for 1,5 hours at 10 pm, while 5 hours before that we had already cleaned there. The rest of the girls were forbidden to go to the toilet at this time. In this cub, the robe is orange, which means an increased danger of criminals, ”the woman recalls.

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“I am strong and have survived everything. At least that's how I reassure myself. I need to get my husband out and I can’t afford to get limp,” she says. “We violated the law of crossing the border, asking for political asylum, according to the procedure by which the United States, in fact, allows it. We are not murderers or thieves, we are people who want to find protection in a country that they consider possible to give this protection. But according to the conditions, I felt like a real criminal, and this feeling still does not leave me.”

She says that every man who left Russia at that time is minus one fighter killing Ukrainians, minus a potentially dead man, minus one family left without a father, husband, son.

“We are leaving our homeland, leaving home, family, work, habitual way of life, so as not to become chips thrown into the flames of a senseless war. We are good people, in need of protection and human respect in order to remain human, help others and become part of a good society,” the woman wrote in her story.

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