Rachel Wolkenstein, www.rachelwolkenstein.net, 29 June 2013
Just days after Mumia's appeal argument challenging the state's “secret sentencing” of him to life imprisonment without parole the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections cut-off Mumia's phone calls for two weeks.
Late Thursday evening, June 27, Mumia called his wife, Wadiya Jamal, and told her he was “written up” for a phone interview with Philadelphia attorney Michael Coard, on his WURD program, “Radio Courtroom” and didn't know when he would be able to call next. The next day Mumia's phone calls were stopped for two weeks.
This is the first time since 1995 with the infamous Department of Corrrection (DOC) attempt to stop Mumia's radio commentaries and punish him for the publication of his book, Live From Death Row, that Mumia received any prison disciplinary action. Punishing Mumia for his speech and writing was found unconstitutional by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, as a violation of his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. See, Abu-Jamal v. Price, 154 F3d 122 (3rd Circ. 1998).
In another act of harassment, the DOC refuses to process contact visitation between Mumia and his son, Jamal Hart. In August 2012, Hart had a 4-hour contact visit without incident with his father, the first contact visit between father and son in thirty years. But the DOC is refusing to grant additional contact visits.
These are attacks on Mumia – in an attempt to isolate Mumia from his family and supporters and to silence him. These harassments and restrictions of Mumia's rights to speech and communication and his human right to have contact with his family must be fought – immediately and loudly.
The state was defeated in its three decades long vendetta to “legally lynch” Mumia. But the state has not stopped in trying to silence him. In general population since January 26, 2012, Mumia has continued recording his incisive indictments of U.S. imperialism. His journalism and political commitment since his youth is publicized in the acclaimed new film Long Distance Revolutionary. His innocence and frame-up conviction is exposed in the new short film Manufacturing Guilt.
Mumia will not be silenced. We will not tolerate him being harassed. We need to fight to keep his voice in the public and to have contact with his family. We need to insure Mumia has contact visitation with his family.
Write, call, email and fax the central offices of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections:
John E. Wetzel, Secretary, PA Department of Corrections, 1920 Technology Pkwy, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: (717) 728-2573
Fax: (717) 728-0312
Stop the Harassment of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Reinstate Mumia's phone privileges
Grant contact visitation to Mumia's son, Jamal Hart