Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Support the Four Death Row Hunger Strikers in Ohio

On Jan. 3, four prisoners held in Ohio State Penitentiary, a super max prison, started a hunger strike to protest the highly restrictive conditions they have been subjected to since they were moved to the prison in 1998. These prisoners are Bomani Shakur aka Keith LaMar, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Namir Abdul Mateen aka James Were. 

They all received death sentences as the result of wrongful convictions on charges related to the 1993 prison uprising in Lucasville, Ohio. Hasan and Robb helped negotiate the settlement of the Lucasville uprising, preventing a massacre such as the one in Attica in 1971 which resulted in more than forty deaths.

In his statement of his reasons for the hunger strike Bomani states, "..we have undergone penalty on top of penalty, kept from fully participating in our appeals, from touching our friends and families, denied adequate medical treatment.we who have been sentenced to death must be granted the exact same privileges as other death-sentenced prisoners." ..To see Bomani's complete statement, go to

The four prisoners have been kept on the highest security designation, "Level 5" throughout their time at OSP. Their solitary confinement is conducted in such a way as to ensure no contact with other prisoners even during showering and "recreation". The doors to their cells are sealed to prevent sound transmission. During visits, they are shackled even while confined within a booth, separated from their visitor by bullet-proof glass, while other death-row prisoners can have contact with their visitors through an opening in the glass.

Please sign on to the online petition below to support the prisoners' right to have their security levels fairly evaluated and reclassified so that they may participate in the small privileges afforded to other death row prisoners. The harsh treatment of these prisoners violates their constitutional rights and is widely recognized as not only inhumane but as a form of torture.

The wrongful convictions which placed these men on death row must also be set aside. The charges must be dropped entirely or the men must receive new trials.


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