Shadowproof: Ohio Prisoners begin Hunger Strike following punishment for appearing on Netflix show, “Captive”

This comes from Shadowproof written by Brian Sonenstein, March 3rd, 2017:

On February 27, Ohio prisoners Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Jason Robb began a hunger strike after officials at the Ohio State Penitentiary suspended their phone and email access for 90 days. Prison officials accused the men of accepting compensation to appear without authorization on an episode of the Netflix show, “Captive.”

The episode covered the 1993 prison riot known as the Lucasville Uprising. Hasan and Robb, who argue their role in the rebellion was to negotiate a peaceful ending, were pegged as two of its leaders. They were sentenced to death for the killing of a corrections officer.

Read the rest here.


You can write to Hasan and Jason to show them your support, not via Jpay, but via mail. If they get enough mail, this will also give the prison a message…

Jason Robb #308-919
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505

Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders) # R 130-559
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH 44505

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ACLU Case: We filed this suit because the ODRC is violating the First Amendment rights of the prisoners and of the press

Lucasville Disturbance wrongfully convicted prisoners gathered to discuss the ACLU Lawsuit, 2014

Lucasville Disturbance wrongfully convicted prisoners gathered to discuss the ACLU Lawsuit, 2014

From Greg Curry’s site and ACLU Ohio:

This is about the ACLU Media-access case, in which Greg Curry also is a plaintiff, from the ACLU Ohio website:

21 years after the Lucasville prison uprising, the media is still waiting for face-to-face interviews with the condemned prisoners.

For more than two decades, Siddique Hasan, Jason Robb, George Skatzes, Keith LaMar and Greg Curry have claimed they are innocent of the crimes attributed to them during the 1993 prison uprising at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF).

Among other things, these five men accuse the state of coercing false testimony from other SOCF prisoners in order to convict them. They have spent years in solitary confinement, soliciting media attention in an attempt to convince the public—and ultimately the court system—that they do not belong where they are.

In response, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) has completely banned face-to-face media contact with these men, arguing that they are too much of a security risk to be allowed to tell their stories in person.

In late 2013, the ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit challenging this ban. The suit was filed on behalf of Hasan, Robb, Skatzes, LaMar and Curry, as well as one teacher and four reporters, including Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges.

We filed this suit because the ODRC is violating the First Amendment rights of the prisoners and of the press. It’s not hard to see that their actions have very little to do with security and everything to do with silencing an uncomfortable conversation about the Lucasville uprising.

For proof, consider that many other death row inmates in Ohio have been granted face-to-face access to the media. They include spree killer John Fautenberry, neo-Nazi murderer Frank Spisak, and convicted arsonist Kenneth Richey, who has since been released from death row.

In all, Ohio prison officials have approved nearly two dozen media interviews with other death row inmates while denying each and every request for face-to-face interviews with the five Lucasville prisoners. This ban is a special form of extended vengeance, reserved only for them.

These prisoners are complicated characters, and the Lucasville uprising is a complex story.

Hiding these complexities behind a wall of censorship will not make them go away.
The Basics

21 years ago, on Easter Sunday 1993, more than 400 inmates at an overcrowded prison in Lucasville, Ohio staged an 11-day prison uprising. In the ensuing violence, nine inmates and one corrections officer lost their lives.

The Basics – read more here.

Four Lucasville Uprising Prisoners on Hunger Strike

banner JusticeforLucasvilleThis hunger strike started on the exact day the Lucasville uprising started 20 years ago:
For Immediate Release: Four Lucasville Uprising Prisoners on Hunger Strike.

April 11th, 2013, Youngstown, OH- Four prisoners housed at Ohio State Penitentiary began refusing food today. Greg Curry, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Bomani Shakur, who have been housed at OSP since it opened, are demanding that media outlets be allowed to come for sit-down on-camera interviews with them. 
In a recorded announcement, Bomani Shakur described the hunger strike as a “protest [of] the state’s unfair and unreasonable refusal to grant us access to the media… I am an innocent man. This is injustice, the state of Ohio is trying to kill me.”

Numerous news sources have recently contacted the prisoners because of their involvement in the Lucasville Uprising twenty years ago. The hunger strike was timed with the anniversary of the uprising, along with a conference focused on taking another look at what happened in 1993.

“There are two important reasons for media access. The first is to humanize the prisoner… the second… [is to give] the prisoner a way to contribute to the search for truth about his alleged crimes” wrote long time prisoner advocate Staughton Lynd. “[When] a journalist and a prisoner can speak face to face… the reporter [can] ask follow-up questions as in a courtroom cross-examination.” Lynd also cites legal opinions that advocate a right for prisoners to speak to the media. See Staughton’s full statement at Re-ExaminingLucasville.org.
The prisoners announced the hunger strike during a brief informal telephone interview with The Associated Press, who ran an article on the eve of the hunger strike.
Siddique Abdullah Hasan (fka Carlos Sanders) and Jason Robb were convicted of complicity in the murder of the hostage guard officer Vallandingham and condemned to death. They maintain their innocence and argue that as negotiators of the agreement that ended the uprising, they actually avoided further loss of life. 
Bomani Shakur (also known as Keith Lamar) and Greg Curry both surrendered on the first day of the uprising, but were charged and convicted of killing perceived snitches in the first hours of the disturbance. They both also maintain their innocence.
Greg Curry is serving a life sentence. Shakur has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Supporters of the Lucasville Uprising Prisoners have planned a three day conference memorializing the Lucasville Uprising and re-examining the investigations and prosecutions that produced these convictions. The Re-Examining Lucasville conference will take place at Columbus State Community College on the weekend of April 19th-21st.

Advocates, supporters are also encouraging supporters to call Warden David Bobby at OSP and request that he negotiate with and allow media access. Warden Bobby can be reached at 330-743-0700. Supporters can also write to the prisoners at the following addresses:

Greg Curry, ODRC nr: 213-159
Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders), ODRC nr: 130-559
Jason Robb, ODRC nr: 308-919
Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), ODRC nr: 317-117
OSP
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road,
Youngstown, OH 44505
CONTACT: Ben Turk
PHONE:  614-704-4699
EMAIL: RedBirdPrisonAbolition@gmail.com
WEBSITES:
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