Mumia Abu-Jamal Was in Diabetic Shock, Say Supporters

He was taken to the ICU on Monday after fainting in prison.

On Tuesday, Mumia Abu-Jamal‘s lawyer and supporters held a press conference outside the Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where the convicted cop killer was taken on Monday after what had only been described as a “medical emergency.” They explained that Abu-Jamal had been in a diabetic shock, with a blood sugar count of 779, and that he remains in the intensive care unit.

According to supporters, Abu-Jamal fainted on Monday at SCI-Mahanoy, where he is serving a life sentence for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal’s wife and brother were permitted to visit him in the ICU on Tuesday.

Supporters complain that the hospital is not providing enough information about his condition and treatment, and they allege that his illness was not treated properly in prison.

“The rules that the prisons have are very arcane,” said Keith Cook, Abu-Jamal’s brother. “They don’t give out any information about prisoners to their families or anyone else.”

“Mumia has been complaining about being ill since January,” added Johanna Fernandez of the New York Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. “If he had gotten the proper care he needed originally, he would not be in this situation. This crisis illustrates the problem of health care in American prisons as a basic human rights violation.”

According to Abu-Jamal’s wife, Wadiya Jamal, her husband was handcuffed to a chair when she visited him on Tuesday, and there were four guards stationed around him.

On Monday, Department of Corrections spokesperson Susan McNaughton told us that the DOC does not comment on inmate medical conditions. Later, McNaughton told the Associated Press that “when an inmate presents to the medical department with signs and symptoms of serious illness, he/she is appropriately and immediately sent to the hospital for care.” The hospital has not commented on Abu-Jamal’s condition.

Abu-Jamal was originally sentenced to death for killing Faulkner. After years of appeals, he was removed from death row in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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