By Renée Feltz for The Guardian – The internationally known imprisoned former Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has had his request for a life-saving hepatitis C treatment denied by a federal judge. Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer, but maintained his innocence and Amnesty International says he was denied a fair trial. After 30 years on death row, his sentence was overturned on constitutional grounds.
By Ben Montgomery for Tampa Bay Times – WASHINGTON — For 13 years, Doug Hughes delivered the mail for the United States Postal Service without issue. Now he’s being sent to live in a prison cell for trying to deliver the most important message of his life. The former mailman from Ruskin, who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building last year to protest how political campaigns are financed, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to 120 days in prison.
By Staff of Daily News Egypt – Families of imprisoned journalists began an open ended sit-in at the Press Syndicate headquarters on Sunday, according to an announcement on the Facebook page representing the coalition of families. At least 42 journalists are currently in detention, according to the latest Press Syndicate figures, whereas the coalition estimates the number to be around 90 journalists. The families chose Sunday in particular as the start date for the sit-in as it will coincide with a syndicate ceremony celebrating its 75th anniversary.
By Mark Lance for Free Corey Walker – The OAG’s action to get long-time political activist and attorney Rachel Wolkenstein out of this case is retaliation against the efforts of Corey Walker to overturn his frame-up murder conviction. Since Wolkenstein began working with Walker pro bono in May 2014, first helping with investigation and his pro sepetitions and then as his attorney pro hac vice, Corey Walker filed three sets of legal papers. Each time yet more evidence was given showing his conviction was the result of extensive police and prosecution misconduct.
By Staff of Coalition to Free the Angola 3 – Just moments ago, Albert Woodfox, the last remaining member of the Angola 3 still behind bars, was released from prison 43 years and 10 months after he was first put in a 6×9 foot solitary cell for a crime he did not commit. After decades of costly litigation, Louisiana State officials have at last acted in the interest of justice and reached an agreement that brings a long overdue end to this nightmare. Albert has maintained his innocence at every step, and today, on his 69th birthday, he will finally begin a new phase of his life as a free man.
By Mary Anne Grady Flores for AlterNet – Joy swept through our cell block, Jamesville County Jail, Pod 4, Thursday, January 28. That evening some of the 59 women in our pod rushed up and knocked on my cell door. They reported the six o’clock news had shown 12 drone resisters handcuffed, sitting on a roadside curb, waiting to be taken into custody. I just started my six-month sentence on January 19, for photographing protesters of the drone warfare directed out of Hancock Air Base in nearby Syracuse, New York. These eight protestors, many of whom are Catholic Workers, were later acquitted.
By Fran Quigley for Popular Resistance. Jessica Reznicek, 34, an Iowa peace activist, was arraigned Monday and charged with two felonies for breaking three windows with a sledgehammer at the Northrup Grumman facility outside the Omaha Nebraska Strategic Air Command at Offut Air Force base. Writing from her jail cell, Reznicek, who has lived and worked at the Des Moines Catholic Worker for years, said she broke the windows as an act of conscience “in an effort to expose the details of the defense contracts currently held by Northrup Grumman with U.S. Strategic Air Command (STRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base. Over the years, billions of taxpayer dollars are pouring into the hands of these money-hungry, bomb-building, and computer geek space war criminals.” Jessica is facing up to 20 years. Her trial is schedule for May 24th. She is currently incarcerated, refusing to pay bond.
By Jose Manuel Lopez of TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR. Bayamon,Puerto Rico – Our partner, reporter and political activist Edwin Chungo Molina is promoting an interesting campaign to force the United States (US) government to release Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. Oscar has served 34 years in a US prison for exercising his inalienable right to use all means necessary to decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government is the criminal for ignoring 34 United Nations (UN) resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. In 1960, the UN determined democratically that colonialism is a crime against humanity because it threatens world peace.
By Frida Berrigan for Waging Nonviolence – I love my local paper. The Day is locally owned and based right in downtown New London, Connecticut. They publish an actual, physical newspaper every single day and have a first rate photo department. Their news pages feature a mix of national and international articles from The New York Times and AP wire service stories, as well as locally produced articles of local interest — with headlines like “Reality television producer sees show for New London.”
By Leah Todd for Institute for Constitutional Rights – This Saturday will mark 40 years since political prisoner Leonard Peltier was arrested and charged with the deaths of two federal agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Since that time, new information has come to light about improprieties in the government’s handling of the case, and the movement for Native American rights has made great gains in fighting discrimination and building recognition of the long U.S. history of colonial violence. Yet Leonard Peltier remains in jail, now 71 years old and experiencing multiple serious health issues, most recently an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
By Joe Catron for Mint Press News – NEW YORK — As Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq reaches the 70th day of a hunger strike against his administrative detention by Israel on Tuesday, protests demanding his freedom are growing across the world as others continue in Palestine. “Mohammed is hanging between life and death,” Islam al-Qeeq, his brother, told MintPress News from Ramallah. “The coming hours could be very crucial in his battle for freedom and physical survival.” Supporters overseas echoed the family’s alarm.
By Staff of Free Marrissa Now – Together, members of Stand With Nan-Hui, Love & Protect, California Coalition of Women Prisoners, and the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign recognized that the criminalization and punishment of survivors of gender violence is a widespread problem embedded in systems of domestic & sexual violence, prosecution, incarceration, and policing. We organized several twitter discussions to keep the spotlight on these issues and helped advocate for the immediate release of many other survivors such as Tondalo Hall, Cierra Finkley, Naomi Freeman, Rosa Martinez, Eisha Love, Rajeshree Roy, and Kelly Ann Savage.
By Abdullah Elfakharany for Middle East Eye – I was naïve – at least in the first days after I was arrested. I thought that the world would rise up to defend me, my colleagues and the freedom of the press, which was nurtured in Egypt after the 25 January Revolution in 2011. I thought all those press and human rights organisations, as well as opinion leaders who preach day and night about freedom of opinion and expression as essential values and principles, would do their best to stand in the face of flagrant violations against journalists in Egypt.
By Ali Abunimah for the Electronic Intifada. An Israeli court ordered the immediate, unconditional release of Palestinian human rights defender Nasser Nawaja on Thursday, but as of Friday morning he remained in custody. Lawyers are filing a motion against Israeli police for contempt of court. Nawaja, who works as a field researcher for B’Tselem in the occupied West Bank, was picked up as part of an intensifying crackdown on Israeli human rights groups. Butavia, being transported while in police custody, alleges that Israeli police are working hand in hand with Ad Kan. “The people sitting across from me [during interrogation] had Ad Kan forms in their hands,” Butavia states. “They simply received all the questions and the entire interrogation, ready made, from Ad Kan. The Israeli police is working for the Shomron Settlement Committee.” “This is entirely a political arrest. It’s whole purpose is to undermine our activity for human rights in the [occupied] territories and against the crimes and criminals of the occupation,”
By Kevin Gosztola for Shadowproof. Jared Chase is the last member of the “NATO 3,” who remains in prison. Chase suffers from Huntington’s disease and faces additional charges for alleged aggravated battery against a prison guard. He is set to go on trial in April. Chase, Brian Jacob Church and Brent Betterly came to Chicago in May 2012 for protests against NATO. They became known as the “NATO 3” after they were targeted by undercover Chicago police and arrested on May 16. The state of Illinois accused the “NATO 3” of making explosives. On February 7, 2014, after a lengthy trial in which the key role of undercover cops became even more apparent, a jury acquitted the “NATO 3” of all terrorism charges. But they were found guilty of arson-related offenses and “mob action” charges. Betterly, who was released from prison in April 2015, was last with Chase while they were beat up by guards during their arrival at the Stateville prison’s receiving center. During a recent pretrial hearing on December 7, 2015, Chase showed up to court with a black eye and a swollen face. Betterly said he’s lost a considerable amount of weight, perhaps fifty pounds.