USA: IFJ calls for release of Mumia Abu Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal, an African-American journalist with close ties to the Black Panthers, who has spent nearly 40 years in prison, has tested positive for Covid. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed calls from US (NWU) and French (SNJ, SNJ-CGT) affiliates for his immediate release amid growing fears over his health.

Credit: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 Abu-Jamal, 66, is currently being held for life without parole at the Mahanoy Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. He suffers from severe respiratory difficulties and has to deal with serious heart failure, as well as debilitating skin problems. 

He is being held in solitary confinement in the prison infirmary but has not received any medical treatment, despite his intense suffering.  

For his doctor, Ricardo Alvarez, "his release is the only treatment" to prevent the worst. 

Abu-Jamal, a former president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, has spent nearly 40 years in detention. After 30 years on death row, and after having escaped the death penalty twice thanks to international mobilisations, he is now being held for life without parole. He was jailed for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner following a trial widely condemned as unfair and criticized for constitutional failings.

The IFJ, the SNJ, the SNJ-CGT and the NWU (National Writers Union) have consistently denounced the behaviour of the political and prison authorities as intolerable and inhumane.

THEY CALL ON JOURNALISTS TO SHOW THEIR SOLIDARITY AND SEND MESSAGES TO DEMAND THAT MUMIA ABU JAMAL BE URGENTLY TRANSFERED TO HOSPITAL: 

Tom Wolf - GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA
> Mail: brunelle.michael@gmail.com  

John Wetzel - PENNSYLVANIA STATE SECRETARY FOR PENITENTIARY AFFAIRS
> Mail: jowetzel@state.pa.us 

Larry Krasner - PHILADELPHIA ATTORNEY
> Mail: justice@phila.gov 

Textes à copier-coller (anglais + français) : 

NAME/ SURNAME/ JOURNALIST.../CITY/ COUNTRY
We are extremely worried about Mumia Abu Jamal’s state of health. He has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Taking into consideration his medical history (hepatitis C) he is especially vulnerable. If he remains incarcerated his chances of survival are extremely low. Because of this we request his immediate hospitalisation so that he may receive whatever treatment is necessary in the care of independent professionals. We would also request his release from prison as soon as his health allows him to re-join his family. To avoid massive contamination through the Covid pandemic we would also request that all sick, elderly inmates should be freed. 

NOM / PRENOM / Journaliste ... / VILLE / FRANCE 

Nous sommes très préoccupés par l’état de santé de Mumia Abu-Jamal, testé positif pour Covid-19 et diagnostiqué avec une insuffisance cardiaque congestive. Tenant compte de ses antécédents médicaux (hépatite C) il est très vulnérable. S’il reste incarcéré, ses chances de survie seraient extrêmement faibles. ‎‎En conséquence, nous demandons son hospitalisation immédiate pour qu’il reçoive les soins appropriés par des professionnels indépendants et sa libération dès qu’il sera en état de rejoindre sa famille. ‎Pour éviter la contamination de la pandémie de Covid, nous vous demandons également de libérer tous les détenus les plus vulnérables, malades et âgés. 

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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