[Ppnews] Tortured men face death in 33-day Georgia hunger strike for human rights

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 16 13:50:16 EDT 2012

  Tortured men face death in 33-day Georgia hunger strike for human rights

    * July 14, 2012
    * By: Deborah Dupre

Nine prisoners starving for human rights
Nine prisoners starving for human rights

*Georgian prisoners starving to death for human rights 

Nine prisoners face death on a hunger strike 
<http://sfbayview.com/2012/georgia-hunger-strike-enters-fifth-week/> for 
human rights that began June 11 at Georgia's massive Diagnostic and 
Classification prison, where Troy Davis 
murdered last year and where men are tortured in solitary confinement.

"It has been 33 days since these men have eaten. We must move swiftly or 
people are going to start dying," writes Delma Jackson, wife of the 
inmate who leads the strike, Miguel Jackson.

Miguel Jackson is the prisoner beaten with a hammer-like object in 
retaliation for his role in the December 2010 mass sit-down strike to 
raise awareness about slave labor and other atrocities at Georgia's 
massive Diagnostic and Classification prison, what /CBS Atlanta 
/reported the inmates call 
"unreasonable and inhumane treatment by prison guards and officials."

The /Atlanta Journal-Constitution/, based on claims by the Georgia 
Department of Corrections, reported 
<http://www.ajc.com/news/prison-hunger-strike-ends-1475711.html> Tuesday 
that the strike is over:

    "A hunger strike by 10 inmates at the Georgia Classification &
    Diagnostic Prison has ended, according to the Department of
    Corrections. The strike, which sparked a protest at the state
    capitol building Monday, lasted from June 10 to July 6. Corrections
    is also denying claims that it mistreated the striking prisoners.

    "'The hunger strike ended when inmates requested food from GDC
    officials,' said Dabney Weems, a public relations official."

Families and an attorney for the prisoners, however, "insist that the 
nine hunger strikers remain resolved and continue to insist on 
administrative review of their status, adequate medical care, and access 
to mail and visitation privileges with their families and attorneys 
which have been arbitrarily denied them," reports /San Francisco Bay 
View News, /based on the story by Bruce A. Dixon, managing editor at 
/Black Agenda Report/ where this story 
<http://www.blackagendareport.com/> first appeared.

Dixon is a member of the state committee of the Georgia Green Party and 
is heard on /Black Agenda Radio Commentaries./

/(Listen to Bruce Dixon's commentary on the Georgia prison strike here 

Georgia's Green Party called 
on Americans to fast for one day in solidarity with the prisoners, 
saying in a written statement:

    "Eighteen months after Georgia Department of Corrections employees
    brutally suppressed a non-violent work stoppage led by inmates in as
    many as eleven of the state's 34 prisons, it is believed that the
    "Hidden-37" have been in solitary confinement ever since. The
    Georgia Green Party today called on Governor Deal to end the
    torture; and on Georgians to join hunger striking Georgia inmates in
    a one day solidarity fast."

"Prison officials are surprised at the level of outside support the 
inmates enjoy despite a virtual news whiteout," states Bruce Dixon, 
editor of /The Black Agenda Report/.

*Georgia denies inmates hygiene and medical treatment for injuries 
inflicted 18 months ago*

"Miguel and other inmates at Georgia Diagnostics have been denied access 
to proper hygiene [and] medical treatment for their numerous and severe 
injuries, many of which were inflicted 18 months ago," wrote Delma 
Jackson in a Change.org petition.

Jackson's family alleges that he was beaten by prison guards at Smith 
State Prison in December 2010, transferred in 2011 to the Georgia 
Classification & Diagnostic Prison where he has been kept in solitary 
confinement for the past 18 months.

The Department of Corrections denied those allegations in a statement to 
the /AJC./

"[The Georgia Bureau of Investigation] investigated the claim filed by 
inmate Miguel Jackson regarding the 2010 Smith State Prison incident and 
found no validity to the inmate's complaint," stated Dabney Weems, a 
public relations official.

According to the/ ACJ,/ the department also said Jackson has not been in 
solitary confinement.

In a petition <http://endmassincarceration.org/> that citizens of faith 
and conscience are asked to sign, /The Black Agenda Report/ states about 
solitary confinement torture:

    "As the international community has examined the research, including
    over a century of scientific studies suggesting that prolonged
    solitary confinement leads to irreversable mental degredation,
    experts have found that use of segregation for period in excess of
    fifteen days constitutes torture and cannot be supported under
    existing international standards for human rights."

Many of the men now on hunger strike were involved in a hunger strike 
launched in December 2010.

"Unfortunately the peaceful demonstration was cut short by the brutal 
beating of inmate Miguel Jackson and others who were allegedly targeted 
for participating in the protest," reported /CBS Atlanta/ on Monday.

    "Thirty-seven of the men who participated in the original hunger
    strike were singled out as leaders, and as punishment they were sent
    to the Diagnostic and Classification Prison, where they were placed
    in solitary confinement."

Monday, Jackson said he still suffers splitting migraines as a result of 
the attack.

The strike gained national attention Monday, July 9 after approximately 
30 people gathered at Georgia's state capitol to visit the governor's 
office, where they left support letters for the hunger strikers.

A Solidarity Rally will be held Monday at the Georgia Department of 
Corrections headquarters, 300 Patrol Rd., Forsyth, Ga.

"We will be demanding a meeting and we will not leave until Commissioner 
Brian Owens agrees to meet with us," stated Delma Jackson. "We need your 
support and prayers for these courageous men."

Delma Jackson heads the Prodigal Child Project Atlanta.

*Citizen support requested*

"Your phone calls to the prison warden, the Department of Corrections 
and the governor of Georgia have already made a difference," stated /San 
Francisco Bay News/ editor, Mary Ratcliff. "Delma Jackson, wife of 
hunger striker Miguel Jackson, asks everyone to *'post this flier 
social media, blogs etc. It is imperative that we build awareness and 
gain all the support we can.' Click 
to enlarge."

"Whether or not the hunger strike lasts much longer, the nine prisoners 
involved have already demonstrated their unshakable resolve and deserve 
your continued concern and support -- and your calls, which are still 
needed," states Ratcliff.

"When you call, ask about the men by name and ID number. Here are the 
names and ID numbers of the nine prisoners now in the fifth week of 
their hunger strike."

    * Justin Boston, ID 1305227
    * Quentin D. Cooks, ID 1142336
    * Contravius Grier, ID 591396
    * Miguel Jackson, ID 890692
    * Bobby Anthony Minor, ID 1191993
    * Dexter Shaw, ID 429768
    * Robert Watkins, ID 1245402
    * Demetrius White, ID 581709

Call, fax and email:

    * Warden, Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, phone (770)
      504-2000, fax (770) 504-2006.
    * Commissioner Brian Owens, Georgia Department of Corrections; ask
      for his administrative assistant, Peggy Chapman, phone (478) 992-5258.
    * Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, phone (404) 656-1776, fax (404)
      657-7332; you can also send the governor a letter online by
      clicking here.
    * Georgia Department of Corrections Ombudsman, phone (478) 992-5367
      or (478) 992-5358, email Ombudsman at dcor.state.ga.us
      <mailto:Ombudsman at dcor.state.ga.us>. Please add a cc to the email,
      info at georgiagreenparty.org <mailto:info at georgiagreenparty.org>.

"We're also having an international call-in day to support Georgia 
hunger strikers this Monday, July 16," said Delma Jackson.

"Please encourage everyone to call Commissioner Brian Owens while we are 
outside the Department of Corrections demonstrating, from 10 a.m. to 1 
p.m. ET (7-10 a.m. PT)."

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863-9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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