Mumia must be freed

The World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists, meeting in Angers from June 7th – 10th 2016,

recollecting that for 34 years, our colleague, the Afro-American journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, has been imprisoned in the State of Pennsylvania, charged with the assassination of a policeman in Philadelphia on 9 December 1981, which he has always been denying;

considering that he was condemned to the death penalty in 1982 upon completion of a racist and unfair legal procedure during which his constitutional rights were literally downtrodden; 

observing that despite a large number of legal and judiciary irregularities during the procedure, he has never obtained it revision to defend his innocence;

noting that Mumia Abu-Jamal, called “the voice of the voiceless”, has spent 10964 days (i.e. more than 30 years) on death row;

further noting that the international mobilisation has saved him twice from being executed (in 1995 and 1999) by the Pennsylvanian authorities;  

having in mind that as a result of the mobilisation he could leave the death row in December 2011 as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court;

having in mind that our colleague had his death penalty reduced to life imprisonment without parole eligibility;

aware that according to this ruling, Mumia Abu-Jamal is doomed to die in Mahanoy’s prison while he has been claiming his innocence for more than three decades;

Under these circumstances, Congress calls upon the IFJ Executive Committee to demand his release and the possibility to exercise his profession of journalist. More precisely, the Executive Committee is urged to make an appeal to the governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, and the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

CARRIED Unanimously