The wife and brother of Mumia Abu-Jamal have been allowed to visit him in the critical care unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pennsylvania, one of his attorneys today told Colorlines. The visits come a day after reports surfaced that state Department of Corrections officials, according to Prison Radio News, were blocking family visitation following Abu-Jamal’s admittance Monday morning into the ICU. “He was admitted yesterday morning with a blood sugar level at 779,” attorney Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center says by phone from the hospital. “He had passed out, came to and didn’t know where he was or how he got there.”
According to Grote, Abu-Jamal, 60, had been under care for a series of health issues over the past two months, which included stays in the prison infirmary. “Still,” he says, “they didn’t notice the onset of [symptoms] which almost led to him entering into a diabetic coma.”
Reached for comment to the above, the state DOC’s deputy press secretary Susan Bensinger says via e-mail, “We have no comment regarding the inmate’s status/hospitalization. We never discuss an inmate’s medical condition.”
Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook, is serving life without parole for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. The former journalist and activist’s case and subsequent appeals have won him international support and calls for a new trial.