The supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal say the famous inmate has been kept in a prison infirmary for five months, has contracted Hepatitis C and is now being denied adequate medical care.
Abu-Jamal, 61, wasfamously sentenced to deathfor the 1981 murder of Philly cop Daniel Faulkner. His sentence was commuted to life in prison, and currently he is incarcerated at SCI Mahanoy.
But his supporters claimed that after a recent hospital stay for Abu-Jamal, they discovered he had Hepatitis C, and said the prison had known since 2012 but failed to treat the disease.
"Because of our relentless demands for medical testing and treatment, we finally know the likely cause of his severe ailments: Hepatitis C," said a statement released by Noelle Hanrahan, director of Prison Radio, which broadcasts talks by Abu-Jamal recorded from prison.
"What is news to us is not news to his jailers. Prison officials have known that Mumia was Hep. C positive since 2012 -- and have done nothing," the statement continued. "Even now that prison doctors know that Mumia's Hep. C is active -- from testing they performed solely because we demanded it -- they are refusing to provide treatment."
A spokeswoman for SCI Mahanoy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This week, attorneysat the Abolitionist Law Center amended their federallawsuit against the state prison and Geisinger Medical Centerto include claims that Abu-Jamal is not receiving treatmentforHepatitis C.
The updated lawsuit now claims that the prison " failed to treat hyperglycemia leading to an episode of diabetic shock, a potentially fatal condition ... [and] delayed in diagnosing and now have totally failed to treat his active Hepatitis C infection."
The suit also claims that the prison has left untreated a rash, whichhas spread over his body, "continues causing pain and suffering," and "is a likely manifestation of untreated Hepatitis C."
The lawsuit was originally filed in May claiming that Abu-Jamal's family members were being denied the ability to visit or communicate with him while he was in the prison infirmary.
Abu-Jamal is represented by Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center and Robert J. Boyle of New York City.