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BROOKLN HEIGHTS, Ohio–An asylum seeker from Haiti was released from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Brooklyn Heights on Friday.

Ansly Damus spent the last two years at the Geauga County Jail, which serves as an ICE detention facility, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a news release on Friday.

Damus, an ethics teacher, fled Haiti after he was attacked by gang members for speaking out against a government official. He was granted asylum by a judge twice, but remained behind bars during appeals.

The ACLU said he did not have access to the outdoors and his cell didn’t have a window.

Damus, through a translator, said he was filled with great joy and happy to finally be outside in the United States, though he never imagined such treatment.

He also expressed concern for the safety of his wife and children, who remain in Haiti, saying they are in danger.