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Torture In Czech Republic - Call To Action

URGENT URGENT URGENT please contact Czech embassies immediately - conduct actions where possible - don't buy their line that there are only 20 prisoners still in jail - it is an absolute lie. Either the diplomatic corp are incompetent or they are all liars. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE EXPERIENCING TORTURE and as of Saturday night most had not been freed or seen a magistrate. The IMF/World Bank officials remain silent.

I want to tell you about an Austrian friend I will call Z. Z is one of the most beautiful, peaceful, loveable and compassionate human beings you will ever meet. Z would not hurt a fly and leaves nothing behind but joy to those that have the honour of meeting her.

At Tuesday's demo in Prague Z did nothing more than provide transportation to those that needed it. Her van was followed. Police arrested her but refused to identify themselves. Fearing the abuse and torture that the velvet revolution cops are known for and with them not identifying themselves she tried to escape through an open window and broke her hip and leg. On the way to the hospital the cops twisted her leg for good measure. She is in tremendous pain. After several strenuous days and without any help from the police (who knew where she was all along) she was located. The Austrian state intervend and she has now left the Czech gulag.

Unfortunately it is a different story for the Czech political prisoners who remain behind while it appears police are a little more sinister than they first appeared.

Czech media have reported that some police were dressed in black hoods and scarves. One individual who was seen smashing a showcase window was later observed by Lidove Noviny (a Czech newspaper) arresting people. I wonder if this was the same guy I witnessed throwing a bottle at garage mechanics which is a big difference from decorating U.S. transnationals.

The following incidents have been reported by the legal observer team:

- women were forced to strip and do 'push ups' in front of male guards

- Israeli,Czechs and people of colour were particularly singled out and received the worst beatings

- Prisoners have been denied food, water and sleep.

- Two Norwegians reporting a theft at the local police station witnessed people handcuffed and being beaten

- men have had their groins twisted and punched

- handcuffed prisoners have been thrown downstairs

- 22 prisoners were forced into a 4 square metre cell

- an Israeli who was severly beaten and suffrered a broken leg was refused medical attention

- prisoners with diabetes have not been fed

- 2 czech citizens have been reported to have disappeared (I am waiting to hear more about this before saying more).

- prisoners have been denied legal counsel, a phone call and the right to be brought in front of a magistrate within 48 hours

- police hang up on people inquiring about missing persons

- people seen in good condition when arrested have later to be found badly beaten

- German prisoners were forced to kneel on their hands and knees while guards stood on their feet

- many reports of broken teeth, people being forced to run police gauntlets, forced to sleep outdoors with no blankets or shelter, having to pay for water, suffering forced sleep depravation and beatings for falling asleep, and much, much more.

- more than one IMF official has complimented police behaviour and their restraint

So this is Mr. Havel's velvet revolution? Why has he been silent?

You can find more examples if you go to http://www.prague.indymedia.org - many testimonies have not yet been posted but should be over the next few days. A lawsuit is in the works.

Solidarity actions have already occurred in many places including an occupation of the Czech embassy in Bern. Please act for our Czech brothers and sisters before they are forgotten. This was not a foreign dominated of mindless football hooligans as the media would suggest and 200 of the more than 800 political prisoners were from outside the Czech Republic.

In solidarity, Dave Bleakney


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