[Pnews] Protestors demand medical care for Mumia Abu Jamal
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jul 25 12:04:50 EDT 2019
Protestors come to central Pa. to demand medical care for inmate
convicted of killing police officer
Jul 24, 2019
By David Wenner | dwenner at pennlive.com
/Note: this article has been revised to include updated reaction from
the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections./
A caravan of advocates met resistance at a state office in Cumberland
County on Wednesday, but were eventually promised they could deliver
their petition to a prison official.
The group of about 15 had traveled to the Pennsylvania Department of
Corrections building in Hamden Township on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal,
who has been in state prison since being convicted of killing a
Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
Carrying signs and a bullhorn, they planned to rally and hold a news
conference near the main entrance of the building on Technology Parkway.
But they were met by police officers and officials who initially told
them them must move to the edge of the property. After a peaceful
discussion, an official said three caravan members could enter the
building to deliver their petition, which they said was signed by thousands.
They said Abu-Jamal, 65, has glaucoma, cataracts and other eye ailments
that will cost him his eyesight if he doesn’t receive surgery soon. They
allege prison officials are deliberately stalling and causing delays.
A corrections department spokeswoman said the department couldn’t
comment on medical care given to Abu-Jamal because of medical privacy
laws. An emailed statement said in part: “Health care services are
provided through a contracted medical provider. The medical provider
provides onsite physicians, physicians assistants and medical staff that
work with Department health care administrators to ensure the delivery
of quality medical services. Offsite services are coordinated with a
variety of community hospitals and medical specialty groups. We can
confirm that all patients are treated in accordance with the
Department’s medical policies and protocols, which are available on the
Department’s public website.”
Abu-Jamal’s advocates on Wednesday said he’s facing a repeat of prison
officials’ denial of hepatitis C drugs — which he eventually received
after going to court.
Earlier this month, he also won a court ruling which said Corrections
Department employees aren’t immune to lawsuits resulting from decisions
related to Abu-Jamal’s medical care.
Abu-Jamal was originally sentenced to death before his sentence was
reduced to life without parole in 2011.
“Mumia should be released now not only because he can receive better
healthcare outside of prison but also because he is an innocent man,”
his supporters said Wednesday.
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