Mumia’s life is STILL in danger! Act NOW!
URGENT! EMERGENCY RESPONSE NEEDED!
Mumia once again taken to hospital outside SCI Mahanoy; held incommunicado from family, attorneys and doctor. We need to act now!
Political prisoner and internationally renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has once again been taken from the prison infirmary at SCI Mahanoy in Frackville, Pa.; this time to Geisinger Medical Center in Dansville, Pa. about three hours from Philadelphia.
Having received no phone calls from Mumia, including on Mother’s Day when he always calls, Mumia’s spouse, Wadiya Jamal, called the prison infirmary on Tues., May 12 and learned of the transfer. Since then Mumia has been out of communication with his immediate family and doctor, despite the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ obligation and agreement to keep Mrs. Jamal informed of his medical condition.
State regulations also prohibit prison officials from blocking attorney’s access to their clients; however, visits by his attorneys have also been denied.
On Wed., May 13 Wadiya was told that immediate family visitation was approved by Superintendent John Kerestes and the DOC. This was confirmed by Laura Neal of the DOC Legal Counsel’s office.
Wadiya prepared to visit Mumia at the hospital on May 13; however she was then told by Neal that Geisinger Hospital would not permit the visit because Mumia was not in critical condition and the hospital has a policy of not allowing visits to prisoners.
Mumia’s family and attorneys have been given conflicting reports that updates on his medical condition were released to authorities at SCI Mahanoy. Wadiya was told repeatedly by medical officials at SCI Mahanoy that no medical updates were given to them. However Donald Zaycosky, Litigation Counsel at Geisinger told Rachel Wolkenstein, an attorney representing Wadiya Jamal, that a medical update had been provided to infirmary doctors on Thurs., May 14.
Wolkenstein reported that on Fri., May 15, Zaycosky stated that under the circumstances an exception could be made to the hospital’s “no visitors” policy. He explicitly stated that Geisinger did not object to phone calls or family or legal visitation, but wanted to make sure it was okay with the DOC.
On May 15 at 9:30 a.m., Wolkenstein forwarded Zaycosky her correspondence with Laura Neal that stated the DOC approved family visitation. Since then, despite phone calls and emails, there has been no communication from either the prison infirmary or the hospital regarding either medical updates on Mumia’s condition or to confirm or deny family visitations.
Mumia’s family, attorneys and supporters are extremely worried about his current medical condition and alarmed that he is being held incommunicado while his spouse, legal counsel and his private doctor are being denied any access to him.
When Mumia was first rushed to the emergency room this March in diabetic shock, a global network of supporters sprang into action to inundate phone lines of prison and hospital officials demanding that they allow visitation from his family and attorneys. ONCE AGAIN IT’S TIME TO ACTIVATE THAT SUPPORT.
Just last week supporters delivered a letter to Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, calling on him to release Mumia’s from prison in order to get the proper medical care he needs. It was signed by numerous world dignitaries, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Minister Louis Farrakhan; New York Congressperson Charles Rangel; Executive Vice President of Local 1199 SEIU, Estela Vasquez; actor Danny Glover; writer Alice Walker and many more. (See attached letter) A significant press conference was also held in Harlem on April 30.
Please call the officials below to demand:
Unrestricted hospital visitations by Mumia’s family
Demand access for his attorneys
Let Mumia call family, supporters and doctors
Stop state’s attempt to murder Mumia by medical mistreatment
Release Mumia from prison to be able to obtain needed health care.
DOC Secretary John Wetzel – 717-728-2573; firstname.lastname@example.org
PA Gov. Tom Wolf –717-787-2500; fax: 717-772-8284; email@example.com
Geisinger Medical Center – 570-271-6211
Note: The hospital has Mumia on a “confidential” list so the operators will say they have no one named Mumia Abu-Jamal or Wesley Cook at the hospital. People should tell the operator that their call should be reported to the hospital administration.
April 29, 2015
Contact: Dr. Suzanne Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org, 917 584 2135
Open letter to Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Wolf and Department of Corrections
Secretary John Wetzel
Re: Urgent need for independent medical treatment for Mumia Abu-Jamal and for his release from prison so that he can receive that treatment
Internationally renowned political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is seriously ill. He is currently suffering from life threatening diabetes, full body skin disease, weight loss — 80 pounds in the last two to three months — extreme dehydration, multiple neurological symptoms — uncontrollable shaking, slurred speech, loss of memory with fugue states — and is wheelchair bound. He was initially placed in the prison infirmary for the severe skin problem, released back into general population only to become sicker, very possibly as a result of inappropriate treatment for the skin problem.
Most serious, despite three blood tests during his stay in the infirmary, he was not diagnosed for the diabetes he had developed which only weeks later led to his going into diabetic shock. He was rushed to the ICU at the closest hospital and had his sugar level somewhat stabilized only to be returned to the prison two days later while still very sick, causing more medical crises. All developments since the above description have only been more frightening: more weight loss, inability to walk other than in baby steps, sporadic incoherence, excruciating pain, massive skin peeling, and blood in his urine. And still no diagnosis of this shocking skin disease. Mr. Abu-Jamal is in immediate need of medical help from outside the prison system as the neglect and malpractice of the Department of Corrections is directly responsible for the inadequately addressed and alarming deterioration of his health. Only if he is released will Mr. Abu-Jamal be able to get the proper medical care to give him a chance at recovery.
We, the undersigned, call on Governor Thomas Wolf and Secretary John Wetzel to promptly authorize the independent doctors Mr. Abu-Jamal has chosen to coordinate his diagnosis and treatment plan, and to involve the specialists needed to address his many medical challenges. This would require allowing those doctors (1) to have regular phone access with Mr. Abu-Jamal while he is in the infirmary, (2) to be able to communicate freely and regularly with the prison infirmary physicians who are overseeing Mr. Abu-Jamal’s care, and (3) to schedule an immediate independent medical examination.
The horrific medical care Mr. Abu-Jamal has received at SCI Mahanoy with life threatening consequences is by no means unique to him. The epidemic level of diabetes throughout Pennsylvania’s prisons and the skin problems and hepatitis infections many of the prisoners experience speak volumes about the vulnerability to serious disease that simply entering the prison system causes. We, therefore, call for an independent investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections medical system. In particular, this investigation must focus on profit-making organizations hired by the Department of Corrections that place priority on cost cutting rather than the quality of care provided to prisoners, resulting in fewer referrals to hospitals when needed and more deaths.
Finally, given the extensive evidence of Mr. Abu-Jamal’s innocence, long prevented from being addressed fairly in the courts, and now the evidence that Mr. Abu-Jamal’s very life is in danger while in the prison system, we call for his immediate release from prison.
SIGNERS (List in formation)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Minister Louis Farrakhan
Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former President of the UN General Assembly
Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States
Cornel West, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University; Professor, Union Theological Seminary
Charles Rangel, Congressman, New York
George Gresham, President, Local 1199 SEIU
Estela Vasquez, Executive Vice President, Local 1199 SEIU
Alice Walker, writer and poet
Danny Glover, actor
Cynthia McKinney, former Congresswoman, Georgia
V Charles Barron, State Assemblyman, East New York
Bill Perkins, State Senator, Harlem, NY
Chris Hedges, author, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist
Michael Parenti, political scientist, historian, cultural critic, has taught at many US and international universities
James H. Cone, Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary; founder of Black Liberation Theology
Mark Lewis Taylor, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary
H. Yamamoto, General Secretary, Doro-Chiba International Labor Solidarity Committee, Japan
Imam Al-Hajj Talib ’Abdur-Rashid, Vice President, The Muslim Alliance in North America
Sister Fredrica Bey, Executive Director, Women in Support of the Million Man March
Gregory Muhammad, Nation of Islam Student Regional Reform Minister
Sister Catherine Muhammad, Administrative Assistant to Gregory Muhammad
Lynne Stewart, former attorney and political prisoner
William P. Quigley, Professor of Law, Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Azadeh N. Shahshahani, President, National Lawyers Guild
Michael Tarif Warren, Esq.
Natsu Taylor Saito, attorney and law professor
Paul Wright, Director, Human Rights Defense Center; Editor, Prison Legal News
Judith L. Bourne, attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands; former National Co-Chair, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL)
Kenosha Ferrell, Esq., LL.M., National Conference of Black Lawyers member and concerned citizen
Michael Coard, Esq., attorney, university professor, radio show host, magazine journalist
Erika Kreider, Esq., attorney
J. Kathleen Marcus, J.D., Marcus Law
Joan P. Gibbs, Esq., National Conference of Black Lawyers
Kerry McLean, Esq., Board Member, National Lawyers Guild; NCBL member
Bina Ahmad, National Vice President, National Lawyers Guild; criminal defense attorney
Sally Frank, Professor of Law, Drake University
Rosie Hinnebusch, attorney-at-law, Sarasota, Florida
Bill Montross, National Lawyers Guild, Bethesda, Maryland
Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies, Trinity College
Robin D. G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA
Martin Espada, poet; Professor of English, University of Massachusetts
Jamal Joseph, Professor of Film, Columbia University
Ann Garrison, print and radio journalist, Pacifica Radio, San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News
Michael Albert, Z Magazine
Katha Pollitt, writer
Norman Solomon, author; co-founder and coordinator, RootsAction.org
Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and African-American Studies, Columbia University
Joy James, Professor of Humanities and Political Science, Williams College
Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts
Lisa Guenther, Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
Thomas Hansen, Mexico Solidarity Organization, an immigrant justice advocacy university
Rosemari Mealy, human rights advocate; Adjunct Assistant Professor, City University of New York (CUNY)
Terry Bisson, science fiction writer
Patrick Le Hyaric, French Deputy at the European Parliament; Director, L’Humanité, France
Catherine Margaté, Mayor, Malakoff, France
Didier Paillard, Mayor, Saint-Denis, France
Ian Brossat, Deputy Mayor of Paris, France
Nathalie Appéré, Mayor, Rennes, France
Pierre Laurent, Senator and National Secretary of the French Communist Party, France
Jacky Hortaut, Coordinator, Collectif Mumia, France
Claude Guillaumaud-Pujol, Professor of American Studies, Clermont Ferrand University, France
Hans-Christoph Graf von Sponeck, UN Assistant Secretary-General (ret.)
Sabine Lösing, member of the European Parliament, member and Coordinator of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), Vice-Chair and Coordinator of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE), Germany
Katja Keul, member, German parliament
Wolfgang Bittner, Dr.jur., Schriftsteller, Germany
Sabine Kebir, author; Co-Director of the German PEN, Germany
Bernd Schirmer, German PEN
Annette Groth, member of the German Parliament; member of the Human Rights Committee of the German Parliament, Germany
Dr. Michael Schiffmann, English Department of the University of Heidelberg, translator, editor, and author, Germany
Vu The Dung, Vietnamese writer and poet; member of the German PEN, Germany
Hans Till, poet and translator; member of the German PEN, Germany
Heike Hänsel, member of the German parliament, Germany
Annette Schiffmann, public relations counselor; Chair, German Network Against the Death Penalty, Germany
Charlotte Wiedemann, journalist, Berlin, Germany
Political Activists’ Alliance Network to Stop the G7, Elmau, Germany
Elfriede Jelinek, novelist and playwright; member of the International PEN; laureate of the Nobel Prize in literature, Austria
Dr. Jan Oberg, Director of TFF—Transnational Peace and Future Research, sociologist, Sweden
Dr. Farhang Jahanpour, Tutor at the Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, England
Akiko Hoshino, Representative of the Hoshino Defense Committee, Japan
Nina Triffleman, member, Compassionate Seattle
Malaika H. Kambon, People’s Eye Photography
Jackson Browne, singer
Sponsors of this Letter:
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, MOVE, Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, Prison Radio Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, International Action Center, The Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal,
NY Friends of MOVE, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal/Northern California, Existence is Resistance, The Justice and Accountability Campaign, German Network Against the Death Penalty, Free Mumia Committee Berlin, Colectif Francais Liberons Mumia, Mumia Committee Saint-Denis, Amigos de Mumia de Mexico, Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration