Feds' Medical Escort Service Questioned

A class-action lawsuit against the government claims abuse and drug-induced exits from the country. Two plaintiffs in the case tell CNN that they were both drugged when they questioned their circumstances.

According to CNN.com, Raymond Soeoth of Indonesia and Amadou Diouf of Senegal say they were injected with anti-psychotic drugs against their will during the deportation process.

During the re-nomination hearing last month of Julie Myers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief, Sen. Joe Lieberman questioned the drugging claim. According to CNN, Myers responded by sharing her deep concern that prior procedures may have not conformed to ICE detention standards. Myers also stated in a written request by Lieberman that 1,073 detainees had ”medical escorts” for deportation since 2003.

Soeoth, a Christian minister, had been in U.S. detention for 27 months awaiting deportation after he had been denied asylum. He was refused a call to his wife about the deportation, and according to Soeoth, he was abruptly injected with drugs. Those drugs were Cogentin and Haldol. Cogentin is used to treat Parkinson’s disease; Haldol is used to treat psychotic disorders. Soeoth has no history of either disease.

A similar drug experience happened to Diouf. He was on a plane right before he was to be deported, and while trying to show authorities his written federal stay of his deportation, he was grabbed and injected with drugs. Reports from authorities state that Soeoth threatened to kill himself. Soeoth denies the statement. Another report claims that Diouf was medicated because he didn’t follow orders.

Both men, through the American Civil Liberties Union, are seeking an end to the alleged practice of drugging deportees and unspecified damages. Diouf and Soeoth remain in the U.S. while waiting for the decision in the case.