/ Modified jun 17, 2015 5:02 a.m.

Immigrant Detainees Claim Hunger Strike; Officials Deny It

Human rights group says 200 men, 50 women started Saturday; ICE says they're eating.

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About 200 men and 50 women are participating in a hunger strike to protest conditions inside the Eloy Immigration Detention Center, an immigrant advocacy organization said Tuesday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied there is a hunger strike, saying detainees have been eating at meal times.

“ICE denies it maybe because of their policy, but also let’s be clear they’ll be the last to acknowledge an act of disobedience, especially given the grievances that the detainees are saying," said Francisca Prochas with Puente Human Rights.

She said the hunger strike started Saturday morning and detainees were protesting the use of force, lack of access to medical and mental health care and the recent death of a detainee.

Last month a Mexican man was found unresponsive in his cell at the center. He was the fourth detainee to die in ICE custody this fiscal year, ICE said in a statement.

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