[Ppnews] Two Grand Jury Resisters Released; Maddy Pfeiffer Moved From Solitary Confinement

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Feb 28 18:56:58 EST 2013

    Two Grand Jury Resisters Released; Maddy Pfeiffer Moved From
    Solitary Confinement

Posted on February 28, 2013 
| http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/ 

Last night Matt Duran and Katherine "Kteeo" Olejnik were released from 
the Sea-Tac Federal Detention Center where they spent the last five 
months for refusing to testify before a Seattle grand jury investigating 
the anarchist movement . A third resister, Maddy Pfeiffer, remains in 
prison, but has been moved from solitary confinement to the general 

Duran and Olejnik were greeted by friends and family as they left the 
detention center.  Their lawyers, Kim Gordon and Jenn Kaplan, had filed 
motions arguing that their confinement was punitive. Under the law, 
imprisonment for civil contempt is not supposed to punish witness but 
coerce them into testifying.

Duran and Olejnik had been sent to prison in September after refusing to 
testify before a federal grand jury investigating the anarchist 
movement.  While ostensibly investigating vandalism that occurred during 
a May Day protest last year, the grand jury has been widely criticized 
for conducting a witch-hunt targeting people for their political ideas 
and affiliation. *For the past five months, supporters across the 
country have been continually pressuring Judge Jones and District 
Attorney Jenny Durkan to release the grand jury resisters. Yesterday's 
release was a victory for the resisters and all their supporters.*

According to Judge Richard Jones' decision:

"Both Ms. Olejnik and Mr. Duran have provided extensive declarations 
explaining that although they wish to end their confinement, they will 
never end their confinement by testifying.  The court finds their 
declaration persuasive.  They have submitted to five months of 
confinement.  For a substantial portion of that confinement, they have 
been held in the special hosing unit of the Federal Detention Center at 
SeaTac, during which they have had no contact with other detainees, very 
little contact even with prison staff, and exceedingly limited ability 
to communicate with the outside world.  . . .  [C]onfinement in the 
special housing unit entails 23 hours of solitary each day and an hour 
of solitary time alone in a larger room each day, a single fifteen 
minute phone call each month. . ., and exceedingly limited access to 
reading and writing material.  Their physical health has deteriorated 
sharply and their mental health has also suffered from the effects of 
solitary confinement.  Their confinement has cost them; they have 
suffered the loss of jobs, income, and important personal relationships. 
. . .  For these witnesses, however, their resolve appears to increase 
as their confinement continues."

"We're glad the courts have finally seen fit to stop torturing Matt and 
Kteeo in an effort to make them talk," said Chris of the Committee 
Against Political Repression.  "But of course they should never have 
been there to begin with, and Maddy Pfeiffer remains in prison for their 
refusal to cooperate with this political witch-hunt."

You can find the full court order here. 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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