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Wed Apr 1, 2015, 11:45 AM


Mumia Al-Jamal incommunicado in ICU

SUPPORTERS OF political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal were upset to learn that the incarcerated journalist and former Pennsylvania death row prisoner was rushed to an intensive care unit at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, after a medical emergency on March 30.

Initially, officials wouldn't state why Mumia was moved to the hospital, and they reportedly barred his family and lawyers from speaking or visiting with him. Friend and supporter Johanna Fernández told Democracy Now that she was only made aware that Mumia was ill after arriving at SCI Mahanoy for a previously scheduled visit--a visit prompted by the fact that Mumia had sounded ill during a recent phone conversation.

On social media, Fernández explained the conditions under which Mumia was being held at the hospital:

We did a little reconnaissance and were able to get into the unit where he is being held, but were not let in to see him. We were within 10 feet, spoke to his nurses and delivered a note saying that we are here. Unclear that he will get it. Four uniformed guards are outside his room. Mumia has been sick for months. He landed in the hospital because he did not get the proper care. We were just asked to vacate the building. It's time to mobilize to defend Mumia's life.

Mumia's wife Wadiya Jamal and his brother, Keith Cook, who had travelled from North Carolina, were finally allowed to visit him on March 31. In a press conference, they told reporters that Mumia was "not doing well," and that he was suffering from dangerously high blood sugar levels and at risk of slipping into a diabetic coma. At the hospital, they said, his blood glucose level was 779--anything above 186 is considered dangerously high.


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