Last Updated on February 17, 2022
January 6 political prisoners in the D.C. Detention Center are being coerced into receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid ongoing inhumane conditions and mistreatment.
As was reported by multiple outlets, American citizens are facing torturous conditions in the D.C. Detention Center over minor crimes related to the events at the Capitol on January 6, that have been compared to conditions seen in Guantanamo Bay. On April 19, it was reported that inmates were held alone, sometimes with a single cellmate, in their cells for 23 hours a day for over 400 days with zero outside time due to COVID-19 restrictions. Inmates were granted only 1 hour to shower or perform out-of-cell activities.
Conditions of the jail have been widely condemned and criticized. Inmates were restricted from shaving, trimming their toenails, or getting a haircut, only to be provided with a chemical hair remover which many were unable or unwilling to use due to burning of the skin. Inmates were not allowed to receive visits from their lawyers and families, and were only allowed to contact them virtually or over the phone. They were restricted from any library services, therefore having no access to reading material to pass the time while incarcerated. As all court processes have been slowed, many inmates have had their trial dates extended for weeks and even months. Inmates’ lawyers have reported mental and verbal abuse, threats, and violent beatings that have left prisoners with permanent injuries.
“Since his arrest, Ryan Samsel has been held in Washington DC. On March 21, he was awakened by correctional officers, his hands zip-tied, then walked to an unoccupied cell and brutally beaten by the officers. Then Ryan Samsel lost an eye in the beating,” reported Gateway Pundit.
The District of Columbia maintains that such measures were necessary to prevent the spread of the virus in the facility. However, the inhumane conditions drew the attention of Congressman James Comer (R-KY), who issued a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser demanding answers. The DC mayor has not responded to the letter in direct violation of the D.C. Home Rule Act, which states that Congress has oversight in the district.
Following the reports of the conditions in the jail, changes were made at the detention center as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were being lifted. According to a report by the Washington Post in May, some freedoms for these political prisoners had been restored, but only for those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
“D.C. corrections officials will ease an array of coronavirus restrictions in the coming weeks and relax the nearly 24-hour confinement that inmates endured for more than a year, according to plans released Thursday. Beginning May 15 and through July, vaccinated inmates will see a resumption of activities that are in line with the city’s return to pre-pandemic openings, and the rolling back of some of the restrictions that jail officials said were needed to contain the spread of the coronavirus but that drew sharp criticism from lawmakers and allegations of human rights abuses.”
“This means that inmates who are not vaccinated are being held in ongoing inhumane lockdown conditions. This is a clear violation of the Nuremberg code, which prohibits testing medications on inmates, and prohibits the use of force or coercion in the use of medical experiments,” said Suzzanne Monk, conservative activist, journalist, and founder of ReOpen America. “These abuses have been made more possible by the already utter disdain for human rights that has been in place in the DC Detention Center for now over 450 days, human rights violations that continue to this day, and are made even more disturbing in their criminal abuse of medical protocol.”