Employing what one critic described as “Guantanamo Bay style” abuse, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are reportedly using plastic nasal tubes to force-feed at least six detained migrants who have been on a prolonged hunger strike to protest conditions at an El Paso, Texas prison.

As the Associated Press reported on Thursday, detained migrants and an attorney representing the hunger strikers said “nearly 30 detainees from India and Cuba have been refusing to eat, and some are now so weak they cannot stand up or talk.”

According to the AP, the detainees said they began refusing food to “protest verbal abuse and threats of deportation from guards. They are also upset about lengthy lock ups while awaiting legal proceeding.”

The force-feeding began during the second week of January after “a federal judge authorized force-feeding of some El Paso detainees,” the AP reported.

Amrit Singh, whose two nephews from the Indian state of Punjab have been hunger striking for around a month, told the AP that those being force-fed “are having persistent nose bleeds, and are vomiting several times a day.”

Rights groups and critics immediately reacted with alarm to the AP‘s report, with many pointing out that both the United Nations and the World Medical Association have condemned force-feeding as torture.

“Force feeding violates basic medical ethics and our core values,” declared Physicians for Human Rights, which has led the medical community’s protests against the force-feeding of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

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