The British daily Guardian published an interview with Iranian materials science and engineering professor Sirous Asghari on Friday detailing the “inhumane” jail conditions at his ICE facility.
Asghari, which is being detained indefinitely by ICE despite being exonerated in a US sanctions trial last November, said that little is being done to protect inmates from the outbreak in his “filthy and overcrowded” detention center.
In a phone call from the Alexandria Staging Facility (ASF) in Alexandria, Louisiana, Asghari said that his facility lacks basic cleaning practices and continues to bring in new detainees potentially exposed to the virus from across the country.
“The circulation of people under this coronavirus outbreak is absolutely nonsense…coronavirus is a viral bomb waiting to blow up here,” he said.
He added that detainees have no access to hand sanitizers or masks and that bathrooms and sleeping areas are not being cleaned regularly despite the crowded conditions.
“The way ICE looks at these people is not like they are human beings, but are objects to get rid of,” said Asghari.
For two weeks, the ASF prohibited Asghari, who is 59 and has a history of serious respiratory problems, from wearing his own protective mask which he had brought to the facility.
If he were to get the coronavirus there, “I don’t think I would survive,” he said, given the treatment of the detainees.