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Internationally known US political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal has reported to friends and family on the outside that he has contracted Covid-19 in the Pennsylvania prison where he is incarcerated, and says he is having difficulty breathing. His life is in immediate danger and he is in urgent need of hospital care.
For Canada to ratify OPCAT, or introduce any oversight over federal institutions, would need to go hand-in-hand with the introduction of national standards, against which Canada’s compliance can be measured. Yet, the foot-dragging of Canadian legislators on the issue of torture prevention has received little coverage. As a result there is a lack of public awareness of the effects that this international law might have across different sectors of society.
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading through federal prisons. As of December 27, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has reported 952 positive cases and two deaths among federal prisoners. The outbreaks show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Exclusive-access contracts are leaving incarcerated persons and their families no choice but to pay exorbitant private company fees to access books and communicate with one another.
"Esther Bolivar says she has not slept well since her son was arrested 17 years ago. Her son, police officer Erasmo Bolivar, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for allegedly wounding protesters during marches in 2002 that were part of an opposition effort to oust Chavez."