Monday, November 28, 2011

An Important Message from International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)

Sisters and Brothers,

We're sure you were relieved on October 11, 2011, as were we, when the US Supreme Court affirmed several lower court rulings since 2001 that Mumia should never have been sentenced to death. That decision is a tribute to the amazing international movement that has fought all these years for justice for Mumia. But we write to you now calling on you to help in this critical next stage of the struggle to gain Mumia's final release from prison.

Instructions given to the jury, in violation of US law, that biased the jury toward a death sentence provided the basis for both the lower court and US Supreme Court rulings. Mumia has, in other words, spent the last 30 years on Death Row despite the fact that he should never have even been there for one day! The Philadelphia DA's office has been relentless in pursuing the death sentence, insisting that Mumia remain on Death Row these last 10 years despite the lower court ruling in 2001 that he should not have been sentenced to death, filing appeal after appeal to overturn that lower court decision. It appears that they will now stop fighting this consistent judgment of the courts, because that battle at this point would require a new sentencing hearing that might expose the rampant police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct in this case. And this might possibly open the door for a new trial on the issue of guilt and innocence, potentially leading to Mumia's release. The forces that have fought for Mumia's execution, "Fry Mumia" they screamed, with such viciousness for 30 years are seemingly resigned to cutting their losses and having Mumia remain in prison for the rest of his life.


Mumia has been subjected to torture, as defined by international law, for these past 30 years by being kept in isolation in a small, bathroom-sized, windowless cell and not being able to touch his mother, wife, children, or grandchildren, let alone anyone else other than the guards who handcuff and shackle him. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture recently asserted that solitary confinement beyond 15 days (!) constitutes torture. This on top of the fact that Mumia's imprisonment on Death Row was unconstitutional.

Given this picture, Mumia should not have to spend any more time in prison. Putting Mumia in general population can hardly be considered compensation for what he has had to endure all these years. He should be released. In most countries, even if he were guilty of the crime for which he was convicted, and he is innocent, he would have been released by now given his outstanding record of accomplishments and service to the community while in prison. Our campaign must now be to demand that Mumia serve no more time in prison, having been subjected to 30 years of unjust placement on Death Row and having been a victim of torture as defined by international standards of human rights.

December 9, 2011, marks the beginning of a campaign to finally free Mumia. We must now wage a much-reinvigorated battle for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal. On the eve of International Human Rights Day, a major event marking the 30th year of Mumia's incarceration and his subsequent unconstitutional sentence to Death Row for almost three decades, will be taking place at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center. Speakers and performers will include: CORNEL WEST, IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, VIJAY PRASHAD, RAMONA AFRICA, MICHELLE ALEXANDER (by video), AMINA AND AMIRI BARAKA, ATTORNEYS MICHAEL COARD AND LENNOX HINDS, THE IMPACT REPERTORY THEATRE AND THE AFRICAN DANCE AND DRUM ENSEMBLE.

To make this high-profile event – well-known personalities in a very prestigious government venue – a success and to launch the campaign that is essential in its aftermath, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW. We need significant financial help for NYC to Philly buses to provide reduced rate seats for those who cannot afford to pay (and today that includes a very large number of people); for transporting speakers and performers to Philadelphia; for flyers and palm cards; for producing educational literature for the event; and for so many unexpected costs. We know these are hard times and that most of us are struggling simply to survive. But for those of you who can help, we would truly appreciate as large a contribution as you can make. 

Tax-deductible checks should be made out to: FMAJC/IFCO, PO Box 16, College Station, New York, NY 10030.  Or go to, click the "Donate" link at the top of the home page.  That will lead you to a paypal section where you can contribute with a credit card.

Join us in making December 9th at the Constitution Center a success so that we can effectively launch this final stage of the struggle. Mumia has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world. His case represents so much of what we the 99% stand for versus what the 1% stand for. Get your bus ticket! Come to Philadelphia! Send your contributions in TODAY!

With the deepest appreciation for your past support and help, and in solidarity in our common struggle for justice, let us free Mumia and all our political prisoners!

Pam Africa, Chairperson, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Suzanne Ross, Co-chair, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)