Forcing Inmates to Survive Freezing Temperatures Without Heat Is Torture

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
As record breaking low temperatures swept across the East Coast, detainees at a federal prison in New York were forced to endure the freezing cold without heat, hot water, or warm food.

An electrical fire on January 27 caused a power failure at Metropolitan Detention Center, leaving 1,600 detainees with little light or heat. It took over a week for power to be restored at the prison, during which time inmates were put on lockdown without extra blankets or clothing.

This was a violation of human rights. Sign now to demand the Department of Justice investigate what happened at Metropolitan Detention Center now.

After an emergency visit by lawmakers, New York City's Emergency Management finally delivered hand warmers, blankets and generators to provide some relief, but not after subjecting inmates to potentially deadly temperatures for a week.

Not only were detainees forced to survive the frigid temperatures, they were also unable to contact their families and let them know they were OK. Throughout the week, concerned loved ones joined demonstrators outside the prison to demand answers. Unfortunately their efforts were futile — instead of giving answers, corrections officers pepper sprayed protesters.

Yes, the people housed at Metropolitan Detention Center are being held accountable for crimes they have committed, but that doesn't excuse torture.

The Department of Justice needs to investigate this humanitarian crisis. Sign the petition now.
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