"NATO 5" Prisoner Reportedly Beaten By Guards

By aaroncynic in News on Aug 28, 2012 7:40PM

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Mark Neiweem
Last week, attorneys for Mark Neiweem, one of the five NATO arrestees still being held in Cook County Jail on charges related to terrorism in the lead up to the summit protests in May, filed a motion to preserve evidence related to allegations that Neiweem was beaten by guards in the prison. According to reports from members of Occupy Chicago who have been communicating with Neiweem’s legal team and visiting him in prison, the 28-year-old man was hospitalized, received stitches, had a swollen face and sore ribs.

The attack came to light last week when Rachel Unterman went to visit Neiweem after she had received a letter alluding to the beating. Unterman was told on her arrival that the prisoner had been placed in solitary confinement, but another prisoner, Sebastian Senakiewicz, informed her of the assault. Neiweem’s legal team confirmed he spent at least one night in the hospital, and walked with a limp at his court appearance. He currently remains in solitary confinement.

According to Unterman, the discovery phase in the legal proceedings against the five defendants, who prosecutors claim planned on making Molotov cocktails and other incendiary devices to use at the NATO summit protests, is nearing completion. On Monday, the state handed nearly 1,900 pages of documents and 60 audio CDs, mostly transcripts of recorded conversations. It is not known if the prosecution has physical evidence to back up the accusations, outside of recorded conversations. The next discovery hearing is set for Oct. 4 and will reportedly address motions filed by the defense to obtain evidence from federal agencies.

Yesterday, members of Occupy Chicago staged a phone campaign to call on Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to explain what happened to Neiweem and demand his release from solitary confinement.