Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in full solidarity with the struggle to free political prisoners around the world, particularly the political prisoners of the Black Liberation Movement, Puerto Rican Movement, Indigenous Movement, Colombian, Palestinian and other anti-colonial and liberation movement prisoners in United States prisons. One of the leaders of the movement inside and outside the prisons is Mumia Abu-Jamal, longtime political prisoner, former Black Panther, political commentator and writer.
In a situation highly reminiscent of the systematic medical neglect and “slow execution” directed against Palestinian political prisoners by the Israeli regime (denial of appropriate medical care, denial of testing and treatment, denial of access to independent doctors), Mumia Abu-Jamal has been facing a serious health crisis and his friends and family are deeply concerned for his life. Denial of medical care is a method of execution of political prisoners, and is a crisis from the US to Palestine. Take action to demand proper medical care, justice and freedom for Mumia Abu Jamal! Below is information, links and actions from the US-based campaigns to Free Mumia Abu Jamal, including the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal and the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home:
This government has been trying to murder Mumia for 34 years. The power of this movement stopped his execution in 1995 and 1999, and got him off of death row. Now they’re deliberately trying to murder him through medical neglect and intentional torture. This situation is urgent and couldn’t be more serious. Mumia is currently in a wheelchair, two days ago he couldn’t stand up, his speech is slurred, and he can barely hold a bottle of water. This isn’t just medical neglect, this is a continuation of the premeditated murder that was set in place when Mumia was shot in the chest, was rammed headfirst into a steel pole, and was then railroaded through the courts and onto deathrow. Just two months ago Phil Africa died under similar suspicious circumstances. We have absolutely no time to waste.
On Monday, March 30, Mumia Abu-Jamal lost consciousness at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Mahanoy and had to be rushed to the hospital. He was admitted with a blood sugar level of 779, suffering from diabetic shock, and a dangerously high sodium level of 160. His wife, Wadiya Jamal and son Jamal Hart were informed by doctors that he has new onset diabetes, and that on arrival his kidneys were abnormal and he had a high sodium level that risked brain damage. This medical emergency followed several months of health problems, including elevated glucose levels, that were not adequately addressed by prison health care staff, resulting in a rapid deterioration in his condition with near-fatal consequences.
After being held incommunicado for approximately 24 hours, family members were permitted to visit on Tuesday and Wednesday in response to an international outcry. On Wednesday, April 1, Mumia was transported back to the prison infirmary despite not ever seeing a diabetes specialist and without a diagnosis of the cause of his diabetic shock, or a treatment plan.
Mumia was visited on Friday and he is still in medical danger. His blood sugar levels are not stable, shooting up to 300 at one point on Friday, he had to be taken to the visiting room in a wheel chair, he has lost substantial weight, and has other symptoms that require specialized diagnostic and treatment care that is not available at the prison infirmary.
Mumia must see a diabetes specialist (endocrinologist) in order to be properly diagnosed and provided with an individual treatment plan specific to him. Prison officials have a constitutional obligation to treat serious medical needs, and that includes providing specialist care when it is medically indicated. Newly onset diabetes with fluctuating blood sugar levels and a range of potentially related health problems requires specialist care.
Inadequate treatment of diabetes is deadly and can lead to loss of kidney function, nerve neuropathy and amputation of feet and hands.
Stopped from carrying out the death penalty against Mumia Abu-Jamal by a worldwide movement that spanned three decades, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has been attempting over the past three months to execute him by medical neglect.
The murder of aging political prisoners by denying them inadequate health care has happened before. Earlier this year, MOVE 9 member Phil Africa died under suspicious circumstances at SCI Dallas. The lack of standard medical treatment impacts all prisoners, particularly those over 55.
We are demanding that the state of Pennsylvania cease and desist in their attempts to murder political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal:
●Allow daily visits by Mumia’s family, friends and attorneys. Their support and protection at this time of vulnerability should not be restricted.
●Allow Mumia’s choice of specialist doctors to examine and schedule treatment for him — NOW. Neither the prison staff at SCI Mahanoy nor the Schuylkill Medical Center has a diabetes specialist. There is precedent in Pennsylvania for this. Prisoner John E. du Pont, an heir to the du Pont chemical fortune, was allowed care by private doctors during imprisonment. Mumia deserves the same.
●Release Mumia’s medical records to his attorneys.
●Release from prison all the elderly age 55 and over. Mumia will turn 61 on April 24.
●Allowa full investigation of prison health care in Pennsylvania.
●Mumia is innocent and should never have been incarcerated. We demand his immediate release.
We are calling on everyone to participate in the following actions over the next few days:
1. Call, fax and email the following state officials to raise the above demands.Take action now – demand that the Department of Corrections permit Mumia to have a diabetes specialist of his choosing. Say you are calling about prisoner WESLEY COOK, # AM8335:
~ DOC Secretary John Wetzel: 717-728-4109; email@example.com.
~ Gov. Tom Wolf: 717-787-2500; fax 717-772-8284; firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Prison Superintendent John Kerestes: 570-773-2158; email@example.com.
~ Director, PA Dept of Corrections Health Care Services Christopher Oppman, 717-728-5309
2. Sign this petition demanding proper health care, visitor access, and freedom for Mumia: https://www.change.org/p/john-e-wetzel-pa-secretary-of-corrections-tom-wolf-pa-governor-stop-the-medical-execution-of-mumia-abu-jamal-by-neglect-and-malpractice-3
3. Donate to Mumia’s Medical Fund: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mumia-abu-jamal-needs-medical-care-now
4. Tweet widely using the hashtags #mumiamustlive, #saveMumia and #Blacklivesmatter.