Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has been transferred back to prison after he was taken to the intensive care unit at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, following a blackout from diabetic shock. Abu-Jamal’s supporters said he was kept under heavy guard and isolated from visitors in the hospital. Following an international outcry, close relatives including his brother, Keith Cook, were allowed to visit.
Keith Cook: “Mumia was shackled to the bed. Matter of fact, there were two policemen in the room and three outside the door, so you couldn’t talk about anything you didn’t want them to hear. That was clear. When I saw him, he ate lunch in front of me, I helped him cut the meat. He had one arm with handcuffs on it, and needle in the other arm with a drip for insulin. He was smiling. It was obvious he was weak and not his normal self. But he did have a smile on his face and cracked a couple jokes. So his sense of humor was there, but it was clear he was in a lot of pain. The report the following day was that he was doing worse.”
Abu-Jamal has been moved back to the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy prison in Frackville, Pennsylvania, where he was not allowed visitors Thursday. His supporters plan to rally at the prison today to demand he be allowed to receive medical care from doctors outside the facility. They say authorities may have withheld from Abu-Jamal details about blood tests that could have indicated he was suffering from diabetes.