Justice for Mumia Abu Jamal, Justice for Prisoners in Iraq

Justice for Mumia Abu Jamal, Justice for Prisoners in Iraq
November 29, 2006

Like the prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, Mumia Abu Jamal is a man behind bars who has never had a just trial. Unlike the unfortunates languishing in those Iraqi prisons of torture —most of whom are guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time—Mumia did have a trial. But witnesses changed their testimony under pressure from the police (Mumia was convicted of killing a cop, though evidence overwhelmingly shows he didn’t do it), and he had inadequate legal representation. Nevertheless, he was convicted and sentenced to death. During the more than 20 years he has been behind bars in Philadelphia, he has inspired people all around the world with his passionate articles, books, and radio essays decrying the situation of those on death row, prison conditions in general, racism, the horrors of the war in Iraq, the loss of freedom in America. Thousands from around the world have risen to his defense, calling for him to be freed, for him to have a fair trial, for the sentence of death to be commuted.

Twenty-five cities worldwide have honored Mumia for his indefatigable stand against injustice. Paris made him a Citizen of Honor, and St. Denis named a street after him. Enraged by this recognition (it calls into question the legal system that erroneously sentenced him, the barbaric U.S. prison system that keeps some 3,000 people on Death Row), a battery of lawyers and officials from Philadelphia is currently in France charging Paris and St. Denis with a “crime of denial” and ordering that the honors bestowed upon Mumia be withdrawn.

Americans Against the War (AAW) France salutes the cities of Paris and St. Denis for taking such principled actions, and salutes France for having abolished the death penalty. AAW calls upon those concerned about the rights of all prisoners to:
• Write to the Mayor of Philadelphia urging a new and just trial for Mumia
• Write to elected officials in countries having the death penalty demanding its abolition
• Write to American Congressional representatives demanding the overturning of the Military Commissions Act, which legalizes torture, rescinds habeas corpus and other long-held rights
• Write to Mayors Bertrand Delanoe and Didier Paillard thanking them for their support of Mumia Abu Jamal.