UAW 2865, representing 13,000 student workers in the University of California system, wrote a protest letter to Governor Tom Wolf demanding medical care for Mumia and the 10,000 prisoners in the Pennsylvania prison system with Hepatitis C. The letter is below.
Gov. Tom Wolf,
Mumia Abu-Jamal (#AM 8335) has been a longtime honorary member of the National Writers Union, United Auto Workers Local 1981; as a fellow UAW local we were very concerned when we learned that he has been severely ill with symptoms of active hepatitis C for at least the last six months. What is equally distressing is that according to a private doctor who was allowed to see Mumia in the prisoner visiting room, treatment given to Mumia by the prison infirmary has contributed to his many painful, debilitating, life-threatening symptoms, such as nearly going into a diabetic coma on March 30 when he had to be hospitalized. But the most distressing of all is that on September 18, Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Karoline Mehalchick issued a proposed order deny Mumia’s motion for a preliminary injunction and his 1st amended complaint seeking immediate treatment for active hepatitis C. This was in response to the preliminary injunction (Abu- Jamal v. Kerestes) filed August 26 seeking a court order for immediate lifesaving treatment. All these factors point to a willful case of medical neglect, which could, if not addressed, lead to Mumia’s death. Treatment for hepatitis C has a 95 percent cure rate. By withholding that medication, the Pennsylvania Department of Correction would be responsible for imposing a death sentence on Mumia.
Therefore the UAW 2865 requests that you use your power to intervene in this life-or-death situation. We call on you to comply with the highest standards of health care recommended by the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the Bureau of Prisons, which is a division of the Justice Department, and see that Mumia receives immediate medical treatment that will save his life. Mumia is a prime candidate for such treatment since he has active symptoms of hepatitis C. While we are aware that treatment for hepatitis C is expensive, we understand that the BOP adopted federal protocols in June 2015 mandating this treatment throughout the federal prison system and that prisons in several states have already begun to provide this treatment to inmates. Surely it would be incumbent on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to request money to cover such treatment for Mumia and the 10,000 other PA DOC inmates who have hepatitis C.
Furthermore, UAW 2865 calls for Mumia’s release to the care of doctors and medical facilities of his choice so that he can get the treatment he is entitled to in accord with his human rights and the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Given the extensive evidence of Mumia’s innocence (which was never allowed to be heard in court), wrongful incarceration in solitary confinement for nearly 30 years, his life-threatening medical crisis, and the prison medical system’s failure to diagnose or treat him properly, we add our voices to the international call for the immediate release of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
If you don’t want the most famous, internationally respected political prisoner in the United States to die during your term of office, please act now to save the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
UAW Local 2865 Joint Council