Wednesday, June 01, 2016

New Legal Developments on the Medical Condition of U.S. Political Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal
Judge Robert Mariani of the U.S. District Court has issued an order in Mumia’s case, granting Mumia’s lawyers Bret Grote and Robert Boyle’s motion to supplement the record.

New medical records documenting Mumia’s deteriorated condition from February and March, will be presented June 6th. Judge Mariani has also instructed the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to provide any updates and changes in DOC hep C treatment and policies which affect the plaintiff’s treatment.

Calling into Prison Radio, Mumia noted:

“My friends, my brothers, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, but there is some motion. It means that we’re moving closer to hopefully some real treatment not of my symptoms, but of my disease. I thank you all for being there. And freedom is a constant struggle. I love you all. From what used to be death row, this is Mumia, your brother.”

Mumia remains quite ill. While stable, his curable hepatitis C is still active and progressive. The only treatment Mumia has received over the last 14 months to this day is skin ointment and photo therapy. He has not received the medically indicated treatment for hep C, the very condition that put him in the Intensive Care Unit in March 2015.

Hepatitis C is a progressive disease that attacks Mumia’s organs, skin and liver. Unless the court orders the new hepatitis C treatment - one pill a day for 12 weeks, with a 95% cure rate - Mumia's health will remain at serious risk.

Before the court is the preliminary injunction motion, which demands immediate medical care.

The exhaustion of administrative remedy and the procedural hurdles make it extremely difficult for people in prison to actually get their grievances heard through the review process. The Prison Litigation Reform Act was passed specifically to create these very almost insurmountable barriers to access to the courts.

Please read the New Yorker article, Why it is Nearly Impossible for Prisoners to Sue Prisons.

In Abu-Jamal vs. Kerestes, one very telling point was when the DOC's Director of Medical Care, Dr. Paul Noel, took the stand. He said that he had never testified before in court! He has worked for the DOC for over a decade.  

That meant that no prisoner had access to adversarial cross examination. Before Mumia’s day in court in late December 2015, no prisoner ever had the opportunity to expose the PA DOC’s blatant lies. Lies so bold that Dr. Noel disavowed his own signed affidavit, and in court he stated that he “did not sign it and it was false and misleading”. The knowingly false and fabricated document was put in the record by Laura Neal, Senior DOC attorney.

Organizers at Weekend of Resistance, Philadelphia. Photo by Joe Piette

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Fraternal Order of Police Attacks Google for Commemorating Activist Yuri Kochiyama Because of Her Support For Mumia

In yet another broadside attack on the First Amendment, and Mumia’s rights and supporters, U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania Patrick Toomey slammed Google for supporting the work and legacy of Yuri Kochiyama.

Google used its Dangle on May 19th to celebrate Yuri’s activism and her life of struggle.

"Kochiyama left a legacy of advocacy: for peace, U.S. political prisoners, nuclear disarmament, and reparations for Japanese Americans interned during the war. She was known for her tireless intensity and compassion, and remained committed to speaking out, consciousness-raising, and taking action until her death in 2014."

Toomey responded with the Fraternal Order of Police's crafted opportunistic rant strongly criticizing Google’s portrayal of Kochiyama, based principally on her support for Mumia.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, in a letter sent to Google parent company Alphabet Inc. CEO Larry Page, today called on Google to exercise more discretion and apologize for their homepage tribute to Yuri Kochiyama - a radical activist who publicly supported convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and voiced support for Osama bin Laden and other terrorists.
- The Hill, May 20, 2016

See Toomey's call on Google to apologize here.

Google would not comment on the record about Toomey's letter, but it unveiled the sketch Thursday with "great pleasure."
Yuri’s family has reached out to Google to thank them.
Luchando por la justicia y la libertad,

Noelle Hanrahan, Director

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