Archive | Human Rights

Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS
(01 – 07 September 2016)

Gaza Strip: Palestinian Civilians Checking their House after Nazi Artillery Attack on it.

  • Nazi forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • A Palestinian civilian was killed in Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem.

–         6 Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were wounded in the West Bank.

 

  • Nazi forces targeted the border area along in the northern Gaza Strip.

–         3 houses and a military training site sustained material damage.

 

  • Nazi forces conducted 78 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the southern Gaza Strip.

–         60 civilians, including 9 children, were arrested.

–         17 of them, including 5 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

–         9-year-old boy was arrested when attempting to pass through the border fence into the Nazi state. However, he was released the next day.

 

 

  • Nazi forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

–         A Palestinian civilian was obliged to self-demolish his house in the Old City.

 

  • Nazi forces continued settlement activities in the West Bank.

–         250 olive trees in Ras Attiya village, south of Qalqilia, were cut off.

–         3 dwellings and 9 other facilities in al-Aqaba village, in northern Jordan Valley, were demolished.

 

  • Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea

 

  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

–         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

–         A Palestinian civilian was arrested at military checkpoints.

Summary

Nazi Jewish Gestapo violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (01 – 07 September 2016).

 

Shooting:

Nazi forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed a Palestinian civilian in Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, and wounded 6 others, including a woman; 5 of whom in the West Bank and the 6th in Jerusalem. In the Gaza Strip, Nazi navy forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen and chase them in the sea, while Nazi land troops continued to target the border area.

In the West Bank, on 05 September 2016, in excessive use of lethal force, Nazi forces killed Mostafa Nemer (27) and wounded and arrested his kinsman Ali Nemer (25).

On 02 September 2016, Nidal Ishtaya (42), from Salem village, east of Nablus, was hit with a gas bomb to the back of his head. As a result, his helmet was smashed and he sustained wounds to the head. The aforementioned person was covering Kufor Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.

 

On 04 September 2016, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded in Sebastya village, northwest of Nablus, when Nazi forces moved into the village. A number of Palestinian youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Nazi forces that immediately opened fire in response. As a result, a 25-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the leg and a 24-year-old male sustained a shrapnel wound to the leg as well.

 

On 05 September 2016, an 18-year-old male sustained a shrapnel wound to the leg when Nazi forces moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. As a result, a number of youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Nazi soldiers, who opened fire in response.

 

On 06 September 2016, Nahla al-Emour (55), from Rumana village, west of Jenin, sustained a bullet wound to the shoulder. The aforementioned woman was wounded while she was in her house yard that is a kilometre away from the annexation wall, northwest of the village. Medical sources at Dr. Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin to which she was admitted that the bullet that was taken out of her shoulder was fired from an M16 that is used by Nazi forces.

 

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8373

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Unpaid Labor in Texas Prisons Is Modern-Day Slavery

NOVANEWS

By Jason Renard Walker

Jason Walker holds his certificate of GED completion, which he achieved while incarcerated. He is currently imprisoned in Amarillo, Texas, within a system that profits off of the unpaid labor of prisoners. (Photo courtesy of Jason Walker)

Jason Walker holds his certificate of GED completion, which he achieved while incarcerated. He is currently imprisoned in Amarillo, Texas, within a system that profits off of the unpaid labor of prisoners. (Photo courtesy of Jason Walker)

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has the biggest prison population in the United States (over 140,000 prisoners) and the most prisons of any state (over 100). It is also known for being one of the most self-sufficient and profitable prison systems in the nation, thanks to prison labor.

Beef, pork, chicken and vegetables are raised, processed and harvested by prisoners. Soap and clothing items are manufactured through prison labor as well. Prisoners in Texas grow 24 different crops and tend to over 10,000 head of cattle. They also act as painters, electricians, maintenance workers, cooks, janitors and dog trainers.

It is wrong that this labor, which is managed by Texas Correctional Industries (TCI), is being forced upon prisoners, who are required to execute it for free. If they refuse, they receive discriminatory punishment and thus longer stays in prison.

That’s right: prisoners in Texas are working for free. Total sales for TCI in the fiscal year 2014 alone were valued at $88.9 million, and not one dime of it was used to pay those who produced this handsome reward. Whenever TCI is scrutinized by the public for this practice, they note that prisoners receive other rewards for their labor, such as time credits called “Good Time” or “Work Time.”

On paper, these credits are supposed to cut down the prisoner’s sentence and allow them to be released on mandatory supervision — earlier than they would if these credits didn’t exist. But in reality, mandatory supervision is discretionary. This means that the parole board doesn’t have to honor these credits. It can keep denying a prisoner’s release until they have served their entire sentence.

TDCJ claims that the prisoners’ free labor pays for their room and board, while the actual work gives them job skills to successfully seek and maintain employment upon their release. Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama are other states that utilize this money-making scheme. The other 46 states — one way or another — pay prisoners for their labor with funds that can be used to purchase items off the prison commissary.

Some prisoners work — for free — up to 12 hours a day. This is flat-out, modern-day slave labor and it will continue as long as society accepts the notion that prisoners deserve less.

Meanwhile, people incarcerated in Texas still need money to maintain anything approaching an adequate standard of living. Prisoners who have no money in their accounts are only allowed to send out five one-ounce letters to family and friends per month. Not to mention that a trip to the nurse for illnesses costs $100 — which all gets deducted when funds exist.

Despite Texas having the biggest prison system in the US, it provides the fewest privileges to prisoners out of the five biggest systems. (Unlike some prisons, it does not allow the use of cable TV and tape players in solitary confinement). The Texas system is also among the worst when it comes to nutritious meals; it is always understaffed, and it uses inadequately trained prison and medical personnel. So, where is all the money going?

Prisoners are human. Prisoners deserve the same rights as people on the outside. We are more than the dregs of society and dead weight. In fact, we are actually keeping the prison system functioning with no pay.

Only in America will you find a prison system that treats their prisoners like they aren’t worth a dime. What can we do to change this? Are prisoners in Texas really benefiting from this? Am I the only one that believes Texas should start paying all prisoners for their labor?

This is a topic we all need to be discussing: Is Texas Correctional Industries slave labor or transitional rehab? However you look at it, all work and no play is inhumane under any circumstances. And prisoners must be paid for their labor — not just in 46 states, but all 50 of them.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS

(25 – 31 August 2016)

Jerusalem: Nazi Forces Demolish House of Wasim Khaled Atiyah in Sour Baher Village.

  • Nazi forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Palestinian suffering from mental disorder was killed at the western entrance to Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah.

–         2 Palestinian civilians were wounded in al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.

  • Nazi forces conducted 43 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the central Gaza Strip.

–         41 civilians, including 10 children, a mother and her daughter, were arrested.

–         10 of them, including 5 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

  • Nazi forces continued to impose collective punishment measures against Palestinian civilians.

–         A house belonging to Amayrah family in Doura, south of the West Bank, was bombed.

  • Nazi forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

–         6 dwellings and 2 livestock barns in al-Ma’azai community, east of Jaba’ village, north of Jerusalem, were demolished.

–         A house in Sour Baher village and 2 other under-construction houses in Silwan village, south of the city, were demolished.

  • Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea

–         A Palestinian fisherman was wounded, 5 others were arrested, 2 fishing boats were confiscated and a third was damaged.

  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

–         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

–         8 Palestinian civilians, including a woman, were arrested at military checkpoints.

Summary

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in theoPt continued during the reporting period (25 – 31 August 2016).

Shooting:

Nazi forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed a Palestinian civilian suffering from a mental disorder and wounded 3 others, 2 of them in the West Bank and the 3rd in the Gaza Strip. In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen and chase them in the sea.

In the West Bank, on 26 August 2016, in excessive use of lethal force, Nazi forces killed Eyad Hamed (38), who suffers from a mental disorder, at the western entrance to Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. Nazi media reported that Nazi forces opened fire at a Palestinian who ran towards them and refused to stop when he was asked to, therefore, they suspected him and opened fire at him.

On the same day, 2 Palestinian civilians sustained bullet wounds to the lower limbs when Nazi forces moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, to carry out arrests, during which dozens of youngsters gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers. Therefore, Nazi soldiers opened fire in response, due to which 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded and then taken to hospitals by private cars because ambulances were banned by Nazi forces from reaching the wounded.

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8340

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Public Document

For further information please visit our website (http://www.pchrgaza.org)

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Palestine Is Still The Issue ”VIDEO”

NOVANEWS

Australian journalist and filmmaker, John Pilger, first made a documentary about the Israel/ Palestine conflict in 1977. After the second Palestinian Intifada (Arabic for “tremor”) in 2002, John Pilger returned to Palestine to make another groundbreaking documentary,Palestine Is Still The Issue.
Even after 14 years, this remarkable documentary is still valid about the ongoing Israel/ Palestine conflict where illegal Jewish settlements continue to expand into the West Bank of Palestine and an oppressive Israeli military occupation rules Palestinian lives every day. John interviews both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs to expose the true nature of the conflict. This 52 minute documentary is a must watch, as are other John Pilger films that can be found at: http://johnpilger.com/

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Palastine: Zeina ”VIDEO”

NOVANEWS

Image result for nazi camp photos

Nazi Zionist camp

DCI-Palestine 

My name is Zeina. I’m 12 years old. I live in Ras al-Amud in Jerusalem. I was 15 days old when my dad was sent to Nazi prison, and he’s serving a 20-year sentence.

– Produced by DCI-Palestine
– Directed by Sevan Karakashian
– Edited by Sameer Qumsiyeh

Subscribe to our mailing list: http://www.dci-palestine.org/subscribe

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Debtors’ Prison for Kids: Poor Children Incarcerated When Families Can’t Pay Juvenile Court Fees

NOVANEWS

The debt in effect creates a rift between parents and their children, a grandmother was told to consider giving up custody of her grandson in order to avoid paying his juvenile court fees.
(Photo: Richard Ross/Youth First)
By Nika Knight | Common Dreams 

Many states are incarcerating poor children whose families can’t afford to pay juvenile court fees and fines, a report published Wednesday finds, which amounts to punishing children for their families’ poverty—and that may be unconstitutional.

Although the growing practice of incarcerating adults who are unable to pay municipal and court fees and fines has been documented for several years, as Common Dreams has noted, the latest report from the Juvenile Law Center is the first in-depth examination of the practice within the juvenile justice system.

The report, Debtor’s Prison for Kids? The High Cost of Fines and Fees in the Juvenile Justice System (pdf), documents the results of a survey of 183 people involved in the juvenile justice system—including lawyers, family members, and adults who had been incarcerated as children in the juvenile justice system—in 41 states.

The report authors discovered that in most states there is a pile-up of fees and fines imposed on children and their families once a child enters the juvenile justice system, and that “[m]any statutes establish that youth can be incarcerated or otherwise face a loss of liberty when they fail to pay.”

There are myriad ways in which juvenile court systems levy fines on children’s families, the report authors found, and then imprison those children when their families are too poor to pay the mounting costs:

  • Many states impose a monthly fee on families whose children are sentenced to probation. When a family can’t pay the monthly fee, that counts as a probation violation, and the child is in most cases incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility.
  • If children are sentenced to a “diversion program,” or a community-based program meant to keep them out of detention and help them reintegrate into their communities, the families must pay the costs of such a program. When poor children are unable to pay, they are simply incarcerated instead.
  • Families in most states must pay for their children’s court-ordered evaluations and tests (such as mental health evaluations, STD tests, and drug and alcohol assessments). Failure to obtain certain evaluations may result in a failure to be granted bond by the court, which means the child would remain in juvenile detention. Or if the tests are performed and the family subsequently can’t pay for them, that counts as a probation violation and the child is re-sentenced, which can mean being incarcerated.
  • Some sentences involve a simple fine, such as truancy, and failure to pay results in the child’s imprisonment. “Even when fines are not mandated by statute, they may be treated as mandatory in practice,” the report authers note, describing one impoverished child’s experience with a $500 truancy fine in Arkansas:

One individual who had been in the juvenile justice system there reported that he spent three months in a locked facility at age 13 because he couldn’t afford the truancy fine. He appeared in court without a lawyer or a parent and was never asked about his capacity to pay or given the option of paying a reduced amount. He assumed he had to either pay the full fine or spend time in jail. He explained, “my mind was set to where I was just like forget it, I might as well just go ahead and do the time because I ain’t got no money and I know the [financial] situation my mom is in. I ain’t got no money so I might as well just go and sit it out.”

  • “Almost all states charge parents for the care and support of youth involved with the juvenile justice system,” the report adds. Those include fees for room and board, clothing, and mental and physical healthcare, among many other charges, and “[i]nability to pay […] can result in youth being deprived of treatment, held in violation of probation, or even facing extended periods of incarceration.” (Juvenile prisons also charge their own, often higher, prices for children’s prescription medications, the report says, which frequently results in high charges that poor families cannot afford to pay and interrupts necessary healthcare for their children.)
  • In all 50 states, a statute exists which deems that if a child and their family can’t afford restitution charges—that is, payment to the victim(s) of the child’s crime, which is a popular sentence in juvenile court—the child is incarcerated.

Juvenile detention facilities are often unsafe and inhumane, as Common Dreams has reported.

And the fines imposed by juvenile court are “highly burdensome,” according to the report. The average cost of juvenile system involvement is $2,000 per case in Alameda County, California, for example, and “[f]or young people incarcerated for extended periods of time, the costs can be significantly higher.”

The debt divides families already struggling with the ramifications of poverty, the report notes.

“The debt in effect creates a rift between parents and their children,” one survey respondent said, recalling that “I… spoke to a family where a grandmother had taken custody of her grandson but when facing these insurmountable fees, she was told (by a county employee) that the only way she could avoid paying was to hand over custody. Given her limited income, she has seriously considered giving up custody of her grandson, which would make him a ward of the state…”

In some cases, parents can even face imprisonment themselves if they fail to pay their children’s juvenile court system fees. “In a number of states, parents, like youth, may be found in contempt, either civil or criminal, for failure to pay,” the report says.

“Parents may also face increased financial liability through collection fees and interest accruing on payments, as well as civil judgments for failure to pay,” the report authors add. “When parents face incarceration or mounting debt for failure to pay, they have even fewer resources to devote to educating, helping, and supporting their children.”

The report authors also observe that incarcerating children for their families’ inability to pay fees may be unconstitutional:

[I]t is worth noting that the United States Supreme Court has made clear that an individual may not be incarcerated for nonpayment if the court does not first conduct an indigence determination and establish that the failure to pay was willful. The Supreme Court has also held that courts must consider “alternative measures of punishment other than imprisonment” for indigent defendants. Nonetheless, some states require neither willfulness nor capacity to pay in statute, and only a few explicitly limit or prohibit incarceration for failure to pay.

Additionally, the Supreme Court has held that “courts must provide meaningful notice and, in appropriate cases, counsel, when enforcing fines and fees.” This right is even more important for children, who lack both the developmental capacity and the legal knowledge to represent themselves.

“Moreover,” the report continues, “while further research is needed, existing studies suggest that court costs, fees, and fines have limited, if any, fiscal benefit to states and counties, given the difficulty in collecting from families in poverty and the high administrative costs in trying to do so.”

The Juvenile Law Center details the varying policies on juvenile court system fees state-by-state on a new website, and also highlights the few counties and states who are attempting to rectify the problem.

“Ultimately, state and local policymakers should establish more sustainable and effective models for funding court systems rather than imposing costs on youth and families who simply can’t afford to pay,” the Juvenile Law Center says.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

Nazi Gestapo injured Palestinian Photojournalist

NOVANEWS

Palestinian Photojournalist injured in Kafr Qaddum protest, Nazi forces raid East Jerusalem neighborhoods

Image result for Palestinian Photojournalist PHOTO

A Palestinian photojournalist was injured by Nazi forces Firday afternoon, as dozens others suffered from tear gas inhalation during the weekly protest in the norther occupied West bank village of Kafr Qaddum.

Popular resistance coordinator in Kafr Qaddum Murad Shtewei told Ma’an that Nazi forces “assaulted” participants in the protest minutes after it began.

The soldiers injured photojournalist Nidal Shtayyah after hitting him with a tear gas canister in the back of his head. He was taken to Rafidia hospital for treatment.

Shtewei added that Nazi forces fired a barrage of tear gas, which landed mostly in surrounding homes, causing a family of five to suffer from tear gas inhalation, in addition to others participating in the protest, who were treated on the scene.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against land confiscations, as well as the closure of the village’s southern road by Nazi forces. The road, which has been closed 13 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

Following similar clashes that broke out last month, Shtewei told Ma’an that more than 330 protests have been held over that period, during which time 84 protesters have been injured by live fire, including 12 children.

Some 120 others have been detained at protests and were subsequently held in Nazi custody for periods ranging between four and 24 months, Shtewei said, adding that they have paid fines totaling some 25,000 shekels (approximately $6,488).

Over the course of five years, an elderly protester was killed after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation, one youth lost his eyesight, and another his ability to speak, he added.

Meanwhile, along with armed Nazi forces, Jerusalem municipality crews reportedly raided the occupied East Jerusalem villages of al-Isawyia and Silwan, where they delivered demolition orders and summons to local residents.

According to the Wadi Hilwah Information Center, Nazi forces accompanied municipality crews who raided the al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, where they hung demolition orders and warnings telling residents to “follow-up with the municipality on several buildings in the area.”

The forces reportedly took pictures of neighborhoos buildings and entrances of the neighborhood, and wrote tickets for parked cars.

Muhammad Abu al-Homos,a member of the al-Isawiya monitoring committee, said Israeli forces raided the village, searched a house, and patrolled the street ‘provocatively’. He added that the forces detained a teenager who was present in the area.

 

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Nazi Gestapo: 51Violations against Journalists in August

NOVANEWS

journalist-alrayNazi illegal Gestapo forces reportedly committed 51 violations against Palestinian journalists during August of 2016, the government media office stated.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, a report published by the office revealed that Nazi Gestapo detained eight journalists, holding four in custody, and served a summons notice to one journalist.

Nazi Gestapo recently renewed the administrative detention of four journalists and the actual Nazi camp sentence of two journalists. It also documented five cases of abuses committed against detained journalists.

Additionally, it documented seven cases of injury, regarding four female journalists, involving gas grenades and fire.

Nazi Gestapo also banned five journalists from covering events and travelling, one of them from Gaza.

The report also documented the closing of one local radio in the occupied West Bank, the raiding of two media institutions and the storming of nine houses where Palestinian journalists resided. It also reportedly seized media staff equipment.

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Nazi Gestapo shuts down Palestinian radio station amid escalation in press violations

NOVANEWS

journalist-inspects-damage-to-Al-Khalil-radio-after-Israeli-raid-November-21-2015

A Palestinian journalist checks damages after Nazi forces raided offices of local Palestinian Al-Khalil radio overnight in Hebron on November 21, 2015

Nazi Gestapio raided and ransacked a Palestinian radio station early Wednesday morning in Dura City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, detained five of the station’s employees, and ordered it closed for three months, amid a documented escalation of violations against media freedoms by Nazi Gestapo in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Nazi Gestapo raided al-Sanabel radio station, destroyed its contents, and confiscated transmission and broadcast equipment.

Nazi Gestapo left a closure order on the door of the radio station.

Locals added that Nazi Gestapo detained head of the radio station Ahmad al-Darawish, as well as radio employees Muhammad al-Sus, Nidal Amro, Muntaser Nassar, and Hamed al-Nammura after raiding their homes.

Spokesperson for the Nazi Gestapo Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Nazi Gestapo, police, and civil administration authorities closed al-Sanabel upon a military order that claimed that the radio station broadcast programs inciting against the Nazi Jewish regime.

Adraee added that the five detainees were transferred for interrogation.

News of the closure came after Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA released a report on Saturday saying Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory increased by 17 percent during the first half of 2016.

MADA General Director Moussa Rimawi said in the semi-annual report that while the total number of violations by both the Nazi regime and Palestinian authorities declined from 224 cases in the first half of 2015 to 198 in the first half of this year — a rate of 12 percent — Nazi violations continued to climb, as Palestinian authorities committed 41 percent less violations during the same period.

A total of 133 violations committed by Nazi were recorded during the period.

The most common types of violations committed by Nazi regime were physical attacks, arrests, confiscation of equipment, prevention of coverage, and detentions.

The report highlighted that Nazi Gestapo in March closed two media institutions — Falastin al-Yawm and TransMedia Production Company — after ransacking and confiscated equipment from their offices.

Meanwhile, some 23 journalists and media workers were detained between January and June of 2016.

The report also noted an escalation of the Nazi practice of detaining Palestinians for social media activity, with Israeli authorities alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by “incitement.”

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Nazi regime nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

MADA said in the report that they were “gravely concerned regarding all systematic attacks and violence against journalists and media workers by the Nazi occupation, and urges state members to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists, to ensure accountability, and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against media freedoms.”

Posted in Human Rights, Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Mumia Abu-Jamal denied life-saving hepatitis C treatment

NOVANEWS

Image result for Mumia Abu-Jamal CARTOON

RT 

The world’s most famous prisoner, former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, has been denied vital treatment for hepatitis C by a federal judge.

The journalist was sentenced to death for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, but the sentence was overturned on constitutional grounds five years ago.

However, this new ruling could become a new death sentence if he does not survive the disease naturally.

After decades in prison, Abu-Jamal’s health has deteriorated – and after he was hospitalized in critical condition last year, he filed a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for the right to get anti-viral medication, the Guardian reports.

Despite having a 90 to 95 percent success rate, officials told Abu-Jamal he was not ill enough to be eligible for the 12-week treatment.

District court judge Robert Mariani on Wednesday claimed the lawsuit was wrongly aimed at the warden and the prison system’s medical chief, but should have been targeted towards four members of Pennsylvania’s hepatitis C committee instead.

His lawyers, however, said such a committee did not exist when the lawsuit was filed.

Mariani implied that Abu-Jamal was a “lower priority” health case despite his serious condition by using the testimony of one member of the committee, Dr Paul Noel, who was later added as a defendant to the case.

Judge Mariani cited Noel’s testimony to validate the state’s argument that procedures are designed “to identify those with the most serious liver disease and to treat them first, and then… move down the list to the lower priorities.”

Noel also said that prisoners with esophageal varices, or enlarged veins in their throats that started to bleed, would then “move onto immediate treatment,” but if they did not have varices, “they can wait.”

A lawyer on behalf of the state’s prison system also said “there simply is not enough money to treat every individual” with chronic hepatitis C and treating all prisoners with the disease “would cost approximately $600 million” which would “effectively cripple the department.”

But, while Abu-Jamal’s request for treatment was denied, the judge still found that the hepatitis C protocol used for prisoners fails to meet constitutional standards.

Evidence provided to the court revealed that Pennsylvania treats a mere handful of 6,000 prisoners who have hepatitis C.

The conditions of the prison infirmaries have been condemned by supporters of Abu-Jamal, such as Noelle Hanrahan, who said inmates were “dying in isolation, often chained to their beds,” the Guardian reports.

Up to 3.9 million people in the US have chronic hepatitis C and if the disease remains untreated, it can result in death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response to the outcome, Abu-Jamal’s lawyers said they were “frustrated” he won’t get the treatment he needs.

Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned the treatment of Abu-Jamal during his time in prison – as well as his original trial which it deems “unfair.”

The human rights group has called his case “contradictory” and “incomplete,” expressing concern over the role the government played in a counterintelligence program called COINTELPRO that appeared to have Abu-Jamal among its targets.

COINTELPRO targeted many political activists including Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X.

Fred Hampton, a spokesperson for the Black Panther Party, was assassinated by members of the Chicago Police Department during a COINTELPRO operation in 1969. Relatives of Hampton then sued the government and received a settlement of $1.85 million 12 years later.

Abu-Jamal’s case is said to be one of the most debated in modern legal history.

Posted in Human Rights, USA0 Comments

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