A 43-year-old Cuban asylum-seeker died by apparent suicide while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Associated Press reports. Roylan Hernandez Diaz was found unresponsive Tuesday afternoon in his cell at Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana, ICE said in a press release. The agency said Hernandez Diaz appeared to have strangled himself. He had been in ICE detention since May, after he applied for asylum in El Paso, Texas and was deemed “inadmissible” by border agents. A witness in the same detention center claimed Hernandez Diaz was in solitary confinement at the time of his death, but ICE did not confirm those claims.
BuzzFeed News reports that Hernandez Diaz was also on hunger strike after having his requests to be released declined multiple times. Officers reportedly noticed that Hernandez Diaz skipped nine consecutive meals and declared a hunger strike before his death. Hernandez-Diaz's wife, Yarelis Gutierrez, said he told her he was going on a hunger strike due to the “abuse he endured in detention.” “He never said he was going to hurt or kill himself. This is all news to me and I don't believe it's true,” she said.