Friday, March 31, 2017

Mumia Abu Jamal to Begin Life-Saving Treatment


The following statement was submitted by Noelle Hanrahan, a private investigator and the director of Prison Radio

The Department of Corrections (DOC) told Mumia today that they will provide him with the hepatitis C fast-acting antiviral treatment beginning next week. 

In court the DOC filed a status report today declaring that they were going to treat Mumia. This treatment consists of one pill per day for 12-24 weeks, and has over a 90% cure rate. 

Exactly two years ago yesterday, Mumia was critically ill in renal failure at the Pennsylvania Schuylkilll Medical Center.  He and his family, friends, lawyers, and world-wide supporters have been waging a heroic fight for hepatitis C treatment ever since.  

For the last 53 days, the DOC, prison medical staff, and Legal Department have stood in contempt of court following the order to treat Mumia. The DOC in defiance of the Injunction filed a stay, hoping the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals would bail them out and block Mumia's treatment.

On Monday, the DOC lost their 3rd circuit appeal. In an order signed by Judge Ambrose, the United States 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals denied the DOC's request to withhold treatment from Mumia. The court upheld the preliminary injunction order, issued on 1/3/17, by District Judge Robert Mariani ordering the treatment. On two occasions, the 3rd Circuit Courts have ruled that the Pennsylvania DOC “protocol” for treating hep C is unconstitutional and violates the 8th Amendment.  

Mumia's attorneys in Abu-Jamal vs. Wetzel, Bret Grote and Robert Boyle, have not only succeeded in getting Mumia the hepatitis C cure, but have also paved the way for over 200 people in Pennsylvania prisons to receive hep C treatment this year! Thousands more people who are at great risk from Hep C complications in prison will be able to receive treatment because of this “first of its kind” federal court order victory establishing a right to hep C treatment for prisoners.

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