Kaci Hickox
© Steven J. Hyman
Kaci Hickox in quarantine.
Newark - A humanitarian worker says she is being detained against her will and "treated like a criminal" after selflessly working to provide health care to the people of Africa. The quarantined nurse has not tested positive for any disease and has exhibited no symptoms of illness.

Kaci Hickox, 33, recently returned from the West African nation of Sierra Leone, part of an assignment from Doctors Without Borders to help the poverty and disease stricken natives deal with the recent ebola outbreak.

What she returned home to in the USA, she said that she "would not wish on anyone."

Ms. Hickox said that even though she tested negative for ebola and never felt ill, she was forcibly detained by armed police and state health workers and confined as part of a mandatory quarantine instituted by Governor Chris Christie.

The "prison-like" treatment has included locking her in an unheated tent in a parking lot, without a flushing toilet, while being deprived of legal counsel.

When Ms. Hickox first arrived at Newark International Airport from Sierra Leone, a federal agent smiled at her and told her, "No problem. They are probably going to ask you a few questions."

Kaci Hickox_1
© Kaci Hickox
The inside of the tent Kaci Hickox was locked in during quarantine.
Ms. Hickox said that she was then ushered to a "quarantine office" at the airport and interrogated by federal and state officials dressed in gloves, masks, coveralls, and protective gear. As she described in her exclusive account in the Dallas Morning News, a man with a gun protruding from his coveralls "barked questions at [her] like a criminal."

After six hours of detainment at the airport, Ms. Hickox said that she was finally taken to a local hospital, and ultimately confined in a quarantine tent in the parking lot.

All of this was done without evidence of her being sick. She was also denied access to her lawyer for days, she said.

Quarantine Tent
© Kaci Hickox
The tent had no running water.
The tent has a window, and doctors talk to me in normal clothes from outside the window," she told CNN. "So if there's no risk to them talking to me from outside the window, it doesn't make any sense that my lawyer wouldn't be able to do the same."

The situation has been traumatic for Ms. Hickox, who relates the conditions to being in prison. She spoke of passing the hours by staring at the walls.

"I don't think most people understand what it's like to be alone in a tent and decisions are being made that don't make sense and show no compassion," Hickox said. "I just feel like fear is winning right now, and when fear wins, everyone loses."

UPDATE:
Kaci Hickox_2
© Police State USA
Kaci Hickox photographed during her time in Africa.
On October 27th, after several days of detainment in the tent, the New Jersey Department of Health agreed to transport her to her home state of Maine, where she will continue being quarantined without symptoms of illness.

"When you look at what happened and how it happened, you come away with the sense that this policy was based on fear and politics rather on medical fact, and we can't have the politicians directing these kinds of important issues," said attorney Norman Siegel to ABC News.

"Her civil rights were violated," Mr. Siegel added. "At a minimum, she could bring an action for damages. But I think her goal is to try to revise the current policies with regard to, for example, mandatory quarantines."