Survivors of the Lucasville Prison uprising have launched a hunger strike after prison authorities attempted to stop them from speaking to reporters and supporters on the 25th anniversary of the uprising. For details on the call-in campaign in support, go here.
Three prisoners sentenced to death and held in solitary confinement since the Lucasville uprising of April 11-21, 1993 are on hunger strike. Late afternoon on Friday April 20 the prison administration restricted phone and JPay email access for Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Keith LaMar, Jason Robb, Namir Mateen (James Were) and Greg Curry.
Over the weekend, staff admitted that the restriction was made to prevent them from telling their story about uprising during the 25th anniversary of it’s conclusion. They promised the restriction would be lifted Monday morning. As of Monday night, only Greg’s phone access was restored.
Thanks to an in person visit with supporters, and with the help of other prisoners calling on their behalf, Siddique, Keith and Jason have communicated that they will refuse food until their access is restored. In 2011 these same three prisoners refused food for 13 days to gain access to phones, contact visits, and legal resources.
The current restrictions turn back the communication access they had won in 2011. This access has allowed these prisoners to expose injustices and retaliation they’ve experienced since the uprising 25 years ago, as well as the horrors of solitary confinement, prison slavery, death row and prosecutorial misconduct experienced by many behind bars in the US today.
Supporters have organized a call-in campaign to pressure the administration to return phone and email access to the prisoners, who have filed complaints and contacted their lawyers, including those who are suing the State of Ohio for consistently denying on-camera interviews with the Lucasville Uprising prisoners, in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
More information can be found at LucasvilleAmnesty.org.