Bulletin: Torture and Repression in Philadelphia

Workers World, Chicago Bureau wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Thu Aug 3 14:46:09 MDT 2000





International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, NY, NY 10011  212-633-6646  fax: 212-633-2889
iacenter at iacenter.org
http://www.iacenter.org

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Deirdre Sinnott & Monica Moorehead 212-633-6646
Philadelphia: Berta Joubert-Ceci  215-724-1618

August 3, 2000

HUNDREDS OF PROTESTORS BEING ILLEGALLY HELD AND
TORTURED IN PHILADELPHIA JAILS

A state of martial law exists in Philadelphia.
Over 400 activists are being physically and mentally abused
in Philadelphia jails for the so-called crimes of
protesting against the prison industrial complex,
the racist Republican convention, and for demanding
freedom for political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Among the 400+ are 8 members of the International Action
Center. Many people have been held since their
arrest on Tuesday, August 1.

Sara Flounders, co-director of the IAC, stated,
"These hundreds of heroic activists have become the
direct targets of a repressive system they were
protesting against almost three days ago when they were
arrested by Philadelphia police.

"Clearly human rights violations are being perpetrated
against the detainees by the cops. For instance,
the cops are telling the detainees that there are no
lawyers to represent them and the lawyers have been told
that there are no detainees who want to see them. This
is a misinformation campaign and an attempt to
demoralize the activists."

While many of the people who were arrested
presented their ID in order to speed along their arraignment
process, supporters outside the RoundHouse police
precinct are being told that there is no record of
the people inside.

A R2K legal network press conference held today
revealed several different types of police torture.
According to R2K this includes "sleep deprivation by overnight
handcuffing in awkward positions; the use of
pepper spray to coerce arrestees into attending
arraignments; stripping of prisoners' clothing; beatings; denial
of essential medication; denial of food, water and
access to the bathroom for extended periods," and much
more.

"The mainstream media wants to paint a picture of
calm and police restraint in the face of the massive
and militant demonstrations that have occurred over
the past few days," said Flounders.

"What has happened in the streets and what is
happening in jail now tells a different story.
There have been pre-emptive arrests, random searches of
cars and people and attempts to shut down the
Independent Media Center. The illegal and unconstitutional
actions taken by Philadelphia will not go unchallenged.
Philadelphia is clearly not the 'city of brotherly
love' but the city of fascistic police tactics."
--30--


International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
email: iacenter at iacenter.org
web: www.iacenter.org
CHECK OUT THE NEW SITE www.mumia2000.org
phone: 212 633-6646
fax:   212 633-2889









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