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> home - action - news - prague s26

updates from the frontline, Prague
from Cornerstone Resource Centre, Leeds, UK.
28th Sept 2000

arrests and police brutality...

Protestors against the World Bank / IMF summit in Prague this week are being beaten, tear gassed, tied up for hours on end and sexually harassed in prison cells in the Czech Republic, following two days of severe police brutality on the streets of the city.

The OPH legal team in Prague is reporting that there are more than 859 prisoners being held as a result of S26 actions. The police are reporting that of that 859 around 200 are not Czech citizens. Only 20 have been charged. 30 people inside the jails have been denied food, water and sleep.

We have reports of people having limbs broken and teeth knocked out. One woman has a broken spine. There is clear evidence of tourture by the police.


And people are still being arrested. Those arrested are a combination of Peaceful protestors, Rioters and Medics (who were picked out first). All deserve support and protection from police brutality.

They need your help NOW!!! Call these numbers and write to these emails to demand their release, complain about the brutality and generally hassle the authorities:

Czech Ministry of Justice:
Czech President, Vacslav Havel:
Czech Embassy: 0207 243 1115
British Embassy in Czech Republic: 0042 0257 530278
fax: 0042 0257 530296
UK Foreign Office: 0207 270 3000 0207 238 4586
Czech Centre 0207 291 9920 fax 0207 4368300

Despite the arrests, the resistance to the summit was highly successful, causing the talks to shut down one day early. For news of what really happened this week in Prague and for updates visit the website:


World Bank/IMF cancel annual meeting & pull out of Prague! The World Bank has now cancelled its meetings for the third and final day of its annual meeting (September 28), and is pulling out of Prague. This is a direct result of the successful resistance to the World Bank/IMF shown on September 26.

September 26th background:

  • 11,000 police deployed in Prague (1/4 of total Czech police force)
  • 15-20,000 activists, operating in clusters of affinity groups, keeping in touch through communications network, barricade delegates inside Prague Congress Centre over 8 hours, in face of...
  • Police using water cannons, tear gas, CS gas, rubber bullets, flash-bangs (stun grenades) in large quantities, baton charges against peaceful protestors, as well as pitch battles with tooled up Spanish/Italian affinity clusters
  • People carrying medical supplies targeted and snatched by police
  • Access to injured people (including severe head injuries) frustrated by police
  • Police dressed as masked up "protestors" starting fights within the crowds
  • Similar actions from fascists, supported by police
  • Czech people assist protestors - old man handing out cobblestones, water being poured from appartments onto riot police.
  • About 60 people in police custody as of 2200 hrs on September 26. Main police focus to keep control of Congress Centre, not make mass arrests
  • Evening social events at Opera cancelled. Banquet for 6000 delegates gets attention from 1000-strong black block
  • Hardly any police on streets of Prague old town from about 1800-2200 hrs, when extensive damage caused to banks and fast food outlets (yes, including lots of McDonalds), mainly around avenues that were focus for 1989 Velvet Revolution - lots of Czechs involved in this.
  • September 26 involved largest and most brutal police presence on streets of Prague since weeks leading up to Velvet Revolution


September 27

Protestors gather in Old Town Square for "Party", in defiance of police clampdown, and to keep their spirits up!

2031 hrs, confirmed reports of extreme police brutality in jails - people being tied together for hours, gassed, beaten, men and women separated and women sexually assaulted (not known to what extent). Some of this information from a mobile phone inside a jail, until cut off.

Legal observers denied access to jails Czech Ministry of Interior breaks off relations with OPH, the Czech based legal monitoring group.

Evening, 1000 demonstrators outside one jail where people being held. Police surround crowd and pick out medics, then remove all press. Protestors told to leave one by one giving passport details - attempts to break police lines leads to police using gas and baton charges on crowd. More arrests - extent of injuries not known

Some people being released, police still picking up others demanding them to account for their whereabouts on September 27


September 28 - TODAY

1206 hrs Indymedia in Letna Square surrounded by police
1219 hrs Demonstrators gathering on Charles Bridge in Old Town - highly visible - to protest at police brutality and demand release of prisoners
1224 hrs Demonstrators outside Ministry of Interior. Reports of extreme police brutality 10-20 people arrested so far.

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