11ALIVE: Ossoff to Present Findings of Investigation into Abuse, Unnecessary Gynecological Procedures at Georgia ICE Facility
This article features Government Accountability Project whistleblower client claims and was originally published here.
IRWIN COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff will present findings Tuesday from an 18-month investigation into allegations of abuse and unnecessary gynecological procedures at a south Georgia ICE detention center and other U.S. detention facilities.
Ossoff heads the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. A hearing to present the findings is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
A whistleblower alleged in 2020 that women at the Irwin County Detention Center had been serially coerced into unwanted and unnecessary surgeries and procedures.
A physician who worked frequently at the facility, Dr. Mahendra Amin, was accused of performing a range of procedures that lacked informed consent from the women they were performed on.
Amin, the Hospital Authority of Irwin County and others were later investigated by the Department of Justice, with the case ending in a $520,000 settlement.
According to Bloomberg, the report will conclude women were in fact subjected to unnecessary procedures, in many cases without their consent.
An Associated Press investigation from that year did not find evidence of mass hysterectomies, which was initially a claim that garnered significant media and political attention, but did identify a number of women who said they had surgeries performed on them without their consent.
An immigration and civil rights lawyer, Andrew Free, described at that time a “systemic lack of truly informed and legally valid consent to perform procedures that could ultimately result – intentionally or unintentionally – in sterilization.”
One woman who spoke with Free said she felt she “didn’t have the opportunity to say no” to a hysterectomy.
Another woman, 30-year-old Pauline Binam from Cameroon, was “shocked” when she discovered one of her two fallopian tubes had been removed during a procedure for a separate matter, according to her attorney.
After political outcry over the revelations, the Biden administration relocated the federal detainee population from the Irwin County center, which was privately run, last year.