Fwd: USA: Amnesty International calls for an inquiry into police actions at WTO talks in Seattle

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMdojo.tao.ca
Sun Dec 12 13:21:01 MST 1999

> From: Gina Lynn <glynn at envirolink.org>
> >Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 01:32:50 -0500
> >Subject: USA: Amnesty International calls for an inquiry into police
> >actions at WTO talks in Seattle
> >
> >
> >* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
> >International *
> >News Service 233/99
> >AI INDEX: AMR 51/203/99
> >10 December 1999
> >
> >USA
> >
> >Amnesty International calls for an inquiry into police actions at WTO
> >talks in Seattle
> >
> >Reports of widespread police abuses against non-violent protesters
> >others during the World Trade Organization talks last week in Seattle
> >are deeply disturbing, Amnesty International said today.
> >
> >"The use of chemical sprays, restraint chairs and beatings appear to
> >violate international human rights standards," Amnesty International
> >said.
> >
> >The organization is calling for the establishment of an independent
> >commission of inquiry to fully and impartially investigate the use of
> >force by the police against the demonstrators.
> >
> >Allegations include:
> >
> >the indiscriminate use of chemical agents such as pepper spray and
> >gas against non-violent protesters, unresisting residents and
> >bystanders. Some of whom were repeatedly sprayed in the face at close
> >range.
> >
> >Reports also indicate that a barrage of other potentially dangerous
> >weapons including rubber bullets, wooden pellets and "flashbang"
> >grenades were used indiscriminately.
> >
> >According to some sources, symptoms described by victims, suggest
> >an unauthorized 'neurotoxic' chemical agent may have been used.
> >
> >Systematic cruel treatment used to coerce or punish violent
> >for act of non-compliance such as refusing to give their names in
> >County jail. One person was slammed against a wall, beaten while
> >on the floor and had his fingers forced back with a pencil. In
> >case, guards squeezed a man's nose, almost suffocating him, when he
> >refused to give out his name.
> >
> >Also at King County jail, people were allegedly strapped into four-
> >restraint chairs as punishment for non-violent resistance or asking
> >their lawyers. In one case a man was stripped naked before being
> >strapped into the chair.
> >
> >One woman was stripped naked by four woman guards, while a male guard
> >outside watched. She further had her arms and legs folded behind her
> >was held down on the floor with the full weight of two guards on top
> >her.
> >
> >Amnesty International calls for an independent commission of inquiry
> >be implemented, including examination by independent experts of the
> >symptoms reported by those exposed to chemical agents and the
> >use of force in the King County jail and other detention centres. The
> >results of these inquiries should be made public at the earliest
> >possible date.
> >
> >ENDS.../
> >Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street,
> >WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom
> >
> >****************************************************************
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> >****************************************************************
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