Apr 13, 2015
Mumia Abu-Jamal was taken to a civilian hospital to be treated for diabetic shock after prison medical staff failed to diagnose his adult-onset diabetes. He has since been returned to the same prison infirmary that previously mistreated his illness, where he currently remains hospitalized.
Abu-Jamal’s family and friends were initially refused access to see him, but were finally allowed to visit him after the Department of Corrections received thousands of phone calls and emails supporting him. They report that he appears to have lost 80 pounds and is suffering from severe eczema as a result of bad diet and medical neglect.
Abu-Jamal is a black political activist and journalist who was framed for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. He was an outspoken critic of the Philadelphia police department’s racist practices for years prior to his arrest. He spent over 30 years on death row before his death sentence was commuted in 2012, following many years of a huge worldwide campaign of support on his behalf.
The bad food and shoddy medical care Abu-Jamal has received are probably no different than that experienced by other prisoners. It would come as no surprise, however, if the supporters of the Philadelphia police and other powerful people wanted him dead. He continues to speak out when given the opportunity and did so recently from the prison infirmary.
Speaking about the cop who murdered Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, Abu-Jamal said, “Remember the young man who allegedly shot – not killed – two cops in Ferguson several weeks ago? Every politician in America leaped at the chance to call the kid a punk, a thug. Now what do you call Slager? What have you heard? Even though he’s been fired, he’s called “officer” today or “Mr. Slager.” He killed a man for a traffic citation and lied about it. Is he a punk, a predator, or what Huey P. Newton used to call, a pig?”
Mumia Abu-Jamal deserves to be a free man. It took a massive fight to force the judicial system to back off from his official execution. Insuring he is treated humanely in prison and preventing authorities from killing him through neglect will take a similar effort.
People are urged to continue making calls to Secretary of Department of Corrections John Wetzel at 717-728-4109 to demand Mumia be immediately allowed to be treated by doctors of his choice.