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6th November 2018, 14:34:44 UTC

Valquiria and her seven-year-old son Abel* fled Brazil and requested asylum in the US after death threats from drug traffickers. US border authorities forcibly separated them and continue to detain Valquiria. The extreme anguish she and her son are experiencing may amount to torture. US immigration authorities must immediately free Valquiria while she pursues her asylum claim.

In March, 39-year-old Valquiria and her seven-year-old son requested protection at the US–Mexico border. Valquiria fled repeated death threats from drug traffickers, who said they would kill her and her son no matter where they fled in Brazil.

Amnesty International interviewed Valquiria in detention. She repeatedly wept as she recounted the moment US authorities forcibly separated her from Abel. In deep despair, she explained the separation had lessened her will to live.

Abel is with his father, who is free in the US as he pursues a separate asylum claim. Seven months after their separation and still traumatised, Abel stares at the door waiting for his mother, and still cannot understand why she does not come home. He will turn eight on 24 November and dreams of seeing his mother before then.

Call on US immigration authorities to immediately free Valquiria while she pursues her asylum claim.

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