The Medical Justice Project for Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners is a nationwide coalition spearheaded by various Anarchist Black Cross chapters and The Jericho Movement. Our focus is providing urgent medical support to North American political prisoners & prisoners of war, who are systematically tortured by medical neglect.
The U.S. currently holds over 100 political prisoners & prisoners of war. While the nation can withhold acknowledgement of these prisoners, they cannot hide the faces or the history of those who challenged political orthodoxy & institutionalized oppression. In punishment these individuals are often given longer sentences, harsher conditions, and are denied parole even when meeting all necessary requirements. Some spend decades in solitary confinement, an internationally recognized form of torture. Such treatment is part of a campaign of retaliation to discourage social movements and isolate individuals.
The organizations that make up the Medical Justice Project provide resources & support to North American political prisoners & prisoners of war, as well as mutual aid, post-release support and community / social movement defense. Through this work, we’ve recognized another very cruel form of torture, one that is almost unbelievable, but is in fact a horrifying reality- medical neglect in prison. “Sick calls” or medical “kites” are often denied or ignored. Outside friends, family, and supporters are lied to by prison staff about the condition of their loved ones. Prisoners are left untreated, in pain, though their condition has been recognized.
This is, of course, accompanied by a ruthless lack of attention for prisoners who are within months of their death. Even when meeting all of the qualifications for a compassionate release, a person incarcerated in political context, is left to suffer. In few instances, political prisoners were finally released, only because they were hours away from dying.
Political prisoners and prisoners of war are most easily subjected to this torture, as medical neglect has become a notable act of further punishment or retaliation. The issue is disturbing & cannot be ignored. Many of the political prisoners and prisoners of war in the US are climbing up in age and declining in health. We’re likely to see much more of this ugly tactic of repression.
Pressurized in urgency, the Medical Justice Project formed in September 2013. Our intentions are clear- end medical neglect, end systematic torture, and release aging or dying prisoners. No one deserves to die in a cage.