Lawyers have identified the gynecologist behind the whistleblower complaint filed by a nurse working at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Irwin County, Georgia.
Dr. Mahendra Amin is accused of performing at least five unnecessary hysterectomies between October and December 2019.
ICE detainees have been speaking out about Amin’s “rough” treatment for years, including examinations that could leave a bruise and having a way of turning a routine visit into surgical procedures.
“They didn’t understand their treatments,” said immigration attorney Elizabeth Mathren.
“Interpreters were not provided. They didn’t understand what he was doing to them.”
Mathren, who worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center from 2017 to 2019, previously brought the complaints to managers of the detention facility.
“Two to three years ago, I had a face-to-face conversation with (someone in management). I was so disturbed. I begged her to get my client treatment with a different doctor,” she said.
“I told her I had heard from multiple people that he was rough, that they were scared to go to him, that they didn’t understand what he was doing.”
39-year-old woman Mileidy Cardentey Fernandez from Cuba had shown the scars on her abdomen, and said she had been told she would undergo an operation to treat her ovarian cysts.
However, Irwin County Detention Center has never given Cardentey her medical records despite of repeated requests.
“The only thing they told me was: ‘You’re going to go to sleep and when you wake up, we will have finished,” said Cardentey in a phone interview.
Immigration and civil rights lawyer Andrew Free had been working with other attorneys to investigate medical treatment at the jail.
“The indication is there’s a systemic lack of truly informed and legally valid consent to perform procedures that could ultimately result — intentionally or unintentionally — in sterilization,” he said.
According to Free, Amin has performed surgery or other gynecological treatment on at least eight women since 2017.
Amin was investigated by the Justice Department in 2015 for making false claims to Medicaid and Medicare, which resulted to him and other doctors paying $525,000 in a civil settlement.