by: NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press
Posted: Jan 23, 2021 / 2:47 PM MST
Updated: Jan 23, 2021 / 2:47 PM MST
Dawn Wooten, left, a nurse at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga., Speaks at a press conference on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 in Atlanta, against the conditions at the immigration prison. Authorities have denied immigrants COVID-19 tests, performed questionable hysterectomies, and destroyed records in a complaint filed with the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to Wooten. (AP Photo / Jeff Amy)
HOUSTON (AP) – U.S. immigration officials have released the last of nine incarcerated women taken to see a gynecologist in rural Georgia who is accused of performing unnecessary hysterectomies or other medical procedures, a women’s lawyer said Friday .
Dozens of women have Dr. Mahendra Amin accused of conducting procedures without her consent that were medically unnecessary and possibly compromised her ability to have children – allegations that sparked outrage. The women were arrested at Irwin County’s privately owned detention center in Ocilla, Georgia.
Through his attorney, Amin has denied any wrongdoing. A federal criminal investigation is ongoing.
Under the direction of former President Donald Trump, ICE deported at least six women alleged to have been guilty of misconduct by Amin last year, and arrived within hours of the deportation of at least three other women before their lawyers intervened.
“These women have supported, organized, and continuously fought each other to bring the truth to light, despite the Trump administration’s best efforts to silence them,” said Elora Mukherjee, a professor at Columbia Law School and a co-worker the women.
The deportation of potential witnesses is suspended by court order, even after ICE attempts to withdraw its support for a court settlement originally reached by the Justice Department.
In a class action lawsuit filed in December, 41 women filed statements about Amin’s alleged wrongdoing. This lawsuit is pending. Many of the women had been deported or released from immigration detention after the allegations first surfaced in September.
ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The agency previously refused to deport women to prevent them from giving evidence and promised to cooperate in any investigation. It has also said it will prioritize providing necessary medical care to all detainees.