Chris Kinder: Mumia Demands Proper Hep-C treatment, as Court Ordered

Mumia Abu-Jamal continues his struggle–fought on behalf of himself and all Hep-C infected prisoners–for proper treatment of this debilitating disease, from which he and many others suffer. Treatment is still denied to him by the Pennsylvania Prison system where he is incarcerated despite a court ruling in his favor, mandating this treatment.

The following is a „short summary of the new papers filed to hold the DOC in contempt.“ 
Submitted by Rachel Wolkenstein, long-time lawyer for Mumia:
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 MUMIA DEMANDS THE PA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS BE HELD IN CONTEMPT FOR REFUSING TO TREAT HIM FOR HEPATITIS C, IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL COURT JUDGE’S ORDER  Yesterday, February 7, 2017, Mumia Abu-Jamal by his attorneys Bret Grote, Esq. of the Abolitionist Law Center and Robert Boyle, Esq. filed a Motion with federal court Judge Robert D. Mariani to hold John Wetzel, Secretary of the Department of Corrections (DOC), Correct Care Solutions and other DOC and Correct Care officials in Contempt.

The Motion is based on the DOC’s failure to comply with Judge Mariani’s January 3, 2017 decision and order that the DOC should treat Mumia Abu-Jamal for his chronic hepatitis C within 21 days and that the DOC’s protocols for treatment of prisoners with hep-C is unconstitutional in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

The DOC filed a motion to stay Judge Mariani’s order on January 12, 2017, requested Judge Mariani reconsider his decision and filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a response opposing the stay and motion to reconsideration four days later. Judge Mariani has not granted the DOC’s request to stay the order to begin hep-C treatment for Mumia. The Order to treat Mumia is in effect and the DOC is not complying.

The DOC’s deliberate and outright contempt of Judge Mariani’s order to treat Mumia with the new anti-viral medication and finding that the DOC’s hep-C protocol is unconstitutional is demonstrated in the DOC’s latest direct response Mumia Abu-Jamal, on January 17, 2017, two weeks after Judge Mariani’s order. As stated in Mumia’s affidavit filed in support of the Motion for Contempt:

“On July 15, 2016, I filed a grievance specifically requesting that the DOC and medical staff treat my hepatitis C, and not merely my symptoms. In all my subsequent pleadings, I not only repeated my requests for direct acting anti-viral (DAA) treatment, but I cited to the Court’s finding of 8/13/16 that the Protocol was unconstitutional. At the last stage of appeal, the grievance (#636678) was transferred to the Bureau of Health Care Services, where it sat for several months awaiting response.

On 1/17/17 the DOC’s highest level of appeal responded, denying the relief requested. The DOC Chief Grievance Officer, Dorina Varner wrote: “You are currently not a candidate for treatment under the current protocol.” [emphasis added]

No date has been set for further proceedings in court.  Mumia is also asking for monetary damages from the DOC for each day the DOC is not in compliance with the order to treat him for his chronic hepatitis C. 

Demand the DOC immediately treat Mumia Abu-Jamal and all other prisoners with chronic hepatitis-C!

–Rachel Wolkenstein, February 8, 2017

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Mumia Abu-Jamal is an innocent political prisoner

Free Mumia Now!

– Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal