Back in April, Reason TV reported on two self-described anarchists in Seattle who were put in solitary confinement for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury about their possible knowledge related to vandalism committed on May Day 2012. Katherine "Kteeo" Olejnik and Matthew Duran were not indicted for any crime, but were brought in as witnesses merely because of their association as anarchists.
Olejnik and Duran refused to testify, prompting them to be held in contempt of court and be sent to "the SHU" or special housing unit at Seattle Federal Detention Center.
Although they were released earlier this year, Seattle Free Press is reporting that the same grand jury investigation has received a six-month extension:
It saddens us to announce that the grand jury investigation has received a six month extension and will most likely conclude on March 4th, 2014. During the past six months there has been little news as to the current status or extent of the investigation and subsequent repression. The only news has been what has already been stated, the grand jury will continue.
That means that Olejnik and Duran could still be held in criminal contempt of court and be sent back to prison. And according the the Free Press, a fellow grand jury resister known as Steve is still being harassed and threatened by law enforcement for refusing to participate:
In the past week, Steve has been experiencing multiple instances of police harassment; harassment to the degree he has not experienced before. About two weeks ago at one in the morning, while walking to the corner store, Steve was approached by two local police officers who screamed his name and threw him against their car and into the backseat.
The Press continues:
The cops went as far as to [say] they would beat him and leave him out where no one could find him. Eventually the police stopped the car in an industrial park on the outskirts of the city. They then removed Steve from the car and stole his cellphone, jacket, shoes, and emptied his wallet of personal items and money. The cops then left him there. Thankfully, Steve was able to contact friends who later came and took him back home.
Like Olejnik and Duran, Steve has not been charged with or even suspected of committing the acts of May Day vandalism. A website supporting Steve says local police are also threatening his immigration status even though he is a legal U.S. resident, in order to get him to testify at a grand jury hearing.
Such tactics are the reason why grand jurys are held in low esteem. For ideas about reforming them, read the Cato report "The Grand Facade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government (2003).
And watch "Tortured for Testimony" now: