Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent the last 34 years in U.S. prison. The majority of that time he has spent in solitary confinement and on death row. Mumia is a political prisoner, one of the longest standing political prisoners in the U.S. And for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, especially for Black and minority groups in the U.S., Mumia is a hero. A symbol of the struggle of Black people for their rights and the criminal crackdown of the U.S. ruling class on oppressed people when they decide to stand up and fight back.
In 1982 Mumia was given the death penalty charged unjustly for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer. In reality the police needed a scapegoat for a dead cop and who better to place the blame on then a young revolutionary journalist and Black Panther Party member.
Mumia’s health is deteriorating. He has contracted Hepatitis C while in prison and the U.S. Government refuses to grant him access to an available cure.
Fire This Time Newspaper defends Mumia’s demand for treatment for himself and the rest of the inmates at the Pennsylvania penitentiary where Mumia is held. Furthermore Fire This Time calls on the U.S. Government and President Obama to immediately free Mumia Abu-Jamal by granting him a pardon.
The text of an urgent petition related to demanding the Hepatitis C cure for Mumia is printed below. Fire This Time would like to encourage all our readers to sign the petition online by visiting: http://www.iacenter.org/mumiahepcsign/
For more information on Mumia’s case please visit: http://www.freemumia.com
To Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
We call on you to make the cure for hepatitis-C possible for thousands of Pennsylvanians infected with this virus, including up to 10,000 in PA prisons and 45,000 in Philadelphia. There is a cure that is 95 percent effective but Gilead Sciences charges up to $94,500 for the 12-week long treatment with Sovaldi or Harvoni. Thousands are being denied the hep C cure by Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, personal medical insurers and the PA Department of Corrections. In 2015, while many people were suffering and dying from cirrhosis or cancer of the liver because they didn’t have the means to pay the steep price for the cure, Gilead made an obscene $17 billion in profits.
As we informed you in petitions last year, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal almost died from hepatitis C complication. The DOC spent over $160,000 treating Abu-Jamal’s hep C symptoms but refuses to provide him with the available cure. The cost of the DOC’s refusal to cure the disease when first detected is not only immeasurable in suffering and loss of lives of state prisoners but leads to higher financial expenses as the disease is allowed to develop into cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. We ask you to make the DOC’s hep C protocol a guide for treatment and eradication of HCV, not a manual for the denial of care. Prisoners with untreated hep C unknowingly bring this deadly disease back to their communities – often to neighborhoods with poor access to quality healthcare.
HCV is a greater threat to PA residents than HIV, Ebola or Zika. Countries such as Egypt and India are providing the hep C cure to their patients for a tiny fraction of the cost in this country. Why not Pennsylvania? Gov. Wolf, it is your job to see to it that everyone with the hep C virus should get the cure - those in prison too.
For prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, untreated hepatitis C is a death sentence. The PA DOC’s refusal to fully treat Abu-Jamal and other prisoners is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Eight Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. In light of the PA DOC’s refusal to provide the cure to HCV, we therefore call on you to release Mumia Abu-Jamal and all other prisoners needlessly suffering from untreated hepatitis C.
Please sign by submitting form above by Friday, April 15. The signed petitions will be delivered to Governor Wolf on Friday, April 22.
International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC Campaign to Bring Mumia Home International Action Center The MOVE Organization
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