Your support is needed once again for renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, this time to demand immediate treatment for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
In the wake of thousands of signed petitions, phone calls, emails plus meetings, street actions and pressure from sympathetic state officials, Federal Court Judge Robert Mariani has ordereda full evidentiary hearing on Friday, Dec. 18 to determine if the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) must provide, as Abu-Jamal’s legal team requests, the new, direct-acting, anti-viral medication with a 95 percent cure rate for HCV.
The DOC currently has no standard of care for treating prisoners with HCV. Prison authorities willfully ignored Mumia‘s health crisis until supporters initiated a campaign which eventually revealed medical proof that his ailments stem from untreated HCV he contacted via a blood transfusion when he was shot by police 34 years ago. The DOC is denying the lifesaving treatment “until the final stages of the condition” – when it would be too late to save Mumia‘s life!
Abu-Jamal’s legal team will make a strong case during the hearing on why Mumia and the other 10,000 HCV-infected prisoners in Pennsylvania need immediate treatment. Most leading hep C specialists and national HCV organizations now recommend immediate treatment with this drug. Abu-Jamal will testify via videoconferencing – the first time in decades he will be given the opportunity to testify in court If he is successful in winning the new hep C treatment, it will set a precedent that can potentially help infected prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and other states.
Statistics show that HCV, if left untreated, is spread when prisoners return home, creating a public health crisis which has a disproportionate impact on people of color and impoverished communities who are also impacted negatively by the outrageously high prices charged by Gilead Sciences for this lifesaving medicine.
Join activists from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and other East Coast cities in a rally outside the courthouse in Scranton and perhaps witness the court proceedings inside (seating is very limited). Your participation on Dec. 18 can prove once again that people’s power can successfully force the capitalist state to consent to the right to proper health care for Abu-Jamal and all prisoners with HCV.
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), Educators for Mumia, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, International Action Center and Mundo Obrero-Workers World Party are all organizing to attend.
9:30 am Friday, December 18,
U.S. Court House
235 N. Washington Ave, Scranton, PA 18501
There’s a chance the proceedings may continue into a second day,
Monday, Dec 21.
If you need a ride or can offer a ride from Philadelphia to Scranton,
contact 484.343.2172, 215.724.1618
From NYC, call 212.330.8029 to reserve a seat on the bus.
If you cannot be in Scranton please call the following officials on Dec. 18 to demand immediate anti-viral HCV medication for Mumia
and the other prisoners:
- Gov. Tom Wolf, 717.787.2500
- John Wetzel, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections,717.728.4109
- John Kerestes, Superintendent SCI Mahanoy,
570.773.2158 ext. 8102