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WTO Photos: Faces of Resistance
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the jail as over 500 WTO political prisoners were slowly released from custody. As prisoners slowly trickled out of the jail so too did numerous accounts of human rights abuses inside the jail. Prisoners recounted stories of being beaten and gassed directly in the face, of being dragged by their hair and being deprived of their eyeglasses. One asthmatic reported having his inhalor confiscated. This was occurring while the WTO prisoners were being denied access to their lawyers during their first 36 hours in custody. The reason for all these police abuses: The WTO prisoners were exercising, en masse, their 5th Amendment right to remain silent, which includes the right not to give one's name.
Sharon Lucas of San Francisco, California walks out of the King County Jail. As of January 7, 2000, charges had been dropped against all but 35 of the original 570 WTO prisoners.