Former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently in ICU at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA
Political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is being treated for diabetes complications. Abu-Jamal’s blood sugar was dangerously high when he arrived at Schuylkill Medical Center on Monday, and he could have slipped into a diabetic coma. He has remained under heavy guard since intake. 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.
Abu-Jamal, 60, is a former Black Panther serving life in prison for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia Officer Daniel Faulkner. His conviction was upheld through years of appeals, but he has gained international support for his claim that he’s the victim of a racist justice system. A federal appeals court threw out his death sentence in 2008, citing flawed jury instructions.
His wife, Wadiya Jamal says he is still very weak. Two guards are posted outside Abu-Jamal’s hospital room, and two others are stationed inside, according to his wife. She said Abu-Jamal was handcuffed to a chair during her half-hour visit Tuesday, and she fed him ice chips.
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.
The two very brief visits by his immediate family were important, but the un just actions by the PA DOC continue. They are controlling the hospitals actions and limiting all information about his condition. These actions are preventing Abu-Jamal and his family from getting access to the critical information they need for his care.
His family and lawyers still have little information about his treatment and his conditions. They are trying to limit additional visits now that they have had a visit. They are attempting to speak with the doctors and get medical records, yet after 20 hours of torture Mumia remains in intensive care.
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.”
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 a.k.a. 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.”
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.”
To support the family of Mumia contact the supporters below:
Bret Grote: email@example.com
Johanna Fernandez: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam Africa: (PH:) 267-760-7344
Keith Cook: email@example.com
Noelle Hanrahan: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Infinite Wiz (@InfiniteWiz)