On the heels of the ongoing challenge to the state of Pennsylvania’s authoritarian new law meant to silence political prisoners, preventing their voices from ever reaching the ear of the public, authorities have been working extra hard to prevent the most famous political prisoner in their midst from receiving proper medical treatment after he reportedly fell into critical condition. At 1 P.M. Eastern time on March 30th, in what was termed a “medical emergency” Mumia Abu Jamal was moved to Intensive Care Unit at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA. The prison and hospital authorities were incredibly secretive when it came to telling the truth about Abu-Jamal’s condition, prompting Prison Radio to send out the following urgent pleas to Mumia’s supporters:
Dateline: Intensive Care Unit Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA
Mumia Abu-Jamal in Medical Crisis
Here is an excerpt from the hospital press conference yesterday:
Mumia’s wife and brother were allowed to see him separately for 30 minutes each late this morning. The mobilization worked. But our job is not yet done. On the morning of March 30, 2015 Mumia fainted in the prison and was taken to the ICU of a nearby clinic. His blood sugar count was dangerously high at 779. He was in a diabetic shock. For perspective: diabetic coma is 800.
He is recovering slowly and still in ICU. His blood sugar is currently at 333. That Mumia had diabetes was a complete shock to all of us. For the last 3 months, he has been under medical care in the prison and diagnosed with eczema. And since he had three “comprehensive” blood tests since February, diabetes should have been diagnosed and treated accordingly. But it never was. Instead he has been subjected to hell by the prison medical system. In January Mumia was shaken out of a deep sleep by guards during count. For the infraction of not being awake during count he was punished for 2 weeks, without calls or yard. Deep trance-like sleep and lethargy were the first signs of the problem. In addition to the physical depletion produced by untreated diabetes, he was/is also dealing with a severe outbreak of eczema. He likened his skin to that of an elephant’s. It was raw, blistered and bloody all over. He was so sick that he was not taking visitors. The “meds” he was given for his skin produced an extreme adverse reaction. His skin swelled and ruptured and he was put in the prison infirmary for 2 weeks.
There’s more, but the above point to negligence of the worse kind if not an outright attempt on Mumia’s life. We are demanding review of his case by outside doctors and…since the world is watching, we are calling for Mumia’s immediate release. It’s time to bring our brother home. Johanna Fernandez
These two very very brief visits by his immediate family were important. But the OUTRAGEOUS actions by the PA DOC continue. They are controlling the hospitals actions and LIMITING all information about his condtiion. Preventing the Mumia Abu-Jamal and his family from getting access to the critical information they need for his care.
His family and lawyers still have very very little information about his treatment and his conditions. They are trying to limit additional visits.
It was inhumane that his family continues to be limited in accessing and monitoring his condition and his health. Literally for 20 hours his family was in the Intensive Care ICU and were told nothing.
Now that they have had a visit. They are attempting to speak with the doctors and get medical records.
Literally after 20 hours of torture Mumia remains in intensive care. .
Mumia’s family is keeping vigil in the ICU critical care visiting room. Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA.
His supporters and lawyers were at trial challenging the Revictimization Review Act aka the “Mumia Silencing Act” in Harrisburg, PA when they received word that he had been taken to the hospital.
The Abolitionist Law Center’s Bret Grote is in Pottsville and taking all necessary steps to gain access to his client for the family and access to his medical records so that independent doctors can intervene.
Mumia Abu-Jamal’s brother Keith Cook stated “The rules that the prisons have are very arcane. They don’t give out any information about prisoners to their families or anyone else. It’s like you have your hands tied because you don’t know how the prisoner is and you have no way of talking to him. I remember a month ago— Phil Africa exercising in the prison, next thing they know they moved him to a hospital and didn’t tell his family where he was, and three days later he was dead.
“It’s scary. This situation needs to change. The prison authorities need to be more humane to the families of prisoners.”
Pam Africa stated “Prison Officials are lying. Mumia is going through torture at the hands of Department of Corrections through medical neglect. It is clear to people that they want to kill Mumia. They gave him the wrong medication which made his condition worse. Inmates on the inside who questioned what was happening have been subjected to direct retaliation by the superintendent. They have been moving concerned inmates out of Mumia’s unit in an effort to both bury and keep this critical information from the public.”
Johanna Fernandez of the New York Campaign to Bring Mumia Home noted “Mumia has been complaining about being ill since January. If he had gotten the proper care he needed originally, he would not be in this situation. This crisis illustrates the problem of health care in American prisons as a basic human rights violation. I am personally concerned because Phil Africa of the MOVE organization was rushed to the hospital not long ago in good health and a few days later he was dead. We need to fight to defend Mumia’s life, and that of all prisoners.”
Bret Grote firstname.lastname@example.org 412-654-9070
Johanna Fernandez 917-930-0804 email@example.com 917-930-0804
Pam Africa 267-760-7344
Keith Cook firstname.lastname@example.org 919-302-4177
Noelle Hanrahan email@example.com 415-706-5222
The Abolitionist Law Center is a public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States.
Link to Yesterday’s press conference outside of the hospital in Pottsville, PA.
CALL NOW and demand that Mumia’s family can visit him at the medical center: 570-773-2158
301 Morea Rd, Frackville PA
Superindendent John Kerestes
(570) 773-2158 x8102
We do not trust that the prison officials will provide any transparency on Mumia’s medical emergency. They indeed told us Phil Africa was fine, and he passed away the next day.
We need you to help us demand family visitation rights at Schuylkill Medical Center NOW!
We will send a trial update shortly.
Please make the call right now: 570-773-2158 x8102
We are in the ICU waiting room at the hospital, not 20 feet away from Mumia’s door. SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes has told us that Mumia’s wife Wadiya Jamal and older brother Keith Cook will be prevented from visiting him today, Wednesday April 1.
This is an outrage! We demand family visitation rights and transparent updates on Mumia’s critical condition NOW!
Our calls worked last time. We NEED the same mobilization today. Pressuring the prison is the only way Mumia’s family will be able to see him.
CALL NOW and demand that Mumia’s family can visit him at the medical
SCI Mahanoy- Superindendent John Kerestes
Schuylkill Medical Center
Dateline: Thurs. April 2st. Pottsville, PA
Mumia was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Schukylkill Medical Center on Monday morning after losing consciousness due diabetic shock (with a blood sugar level of 779 and a sodium level of 160). After 20hrs of vigil his wife Wadiya and his brother Keith Cook were given 30 minutes each to see him. Pam Africa, listed on Mumia’s medical records as his emergency medical contact was also denied a visit.
On Wednesday Bill Cook (Mumia’s youngest brother) and Jamal Hart (Mumia’s oldest son) visited him. Mumia’s condition was distressing. Jamal Hart left the room after ten minutes, distressed that his father was in pain. Bill Cook reports that Mumia was very ill. He had labored breathing, was in pain, thirsty, and he was shaking. He also had difficulty getting out of bed. He was chained with one hand to the rail. Except for the two short visits on Monday and Tuesday, he was without any family contact. He was denied all other visits including legal visits.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections created an arbitrary and capricious rule on Wednesday, announcing that immediate family members would only be permitted to visit once a week. This means that Mumia’s wife, brothers, and son will be prevented from returning to visit until next week. Given that everyone else – lawyers included – are banned from visiting. Unless we organize to change it- Mumia will have no visitors today, and he will go the rest of the week without any contact with family or others. This is inhumane. Unacceptable. And must be changed.
On Thursday, Pam Africa will be keeping vigil at the hospital. We call on the world to demand that visitation from immediate family members, and his sister Pam Africa, be allowed more than once per week while Mumia is in critical condition. We ask everyone to put our “eyes” on our brother, and give him support and comfort as he fights for his life.
On Good Friday Join supporters will rally at the DOC headquarters in Mechanicsburg PA. At 11:00 am.