Contact: Sharon Singh, [email protected], 202-675-8579, @AIUSAmedia
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Amnesty International reiterated its call to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to show sympathy and release Herman Wallace on compassionate grounds. Herman Wallace gave the following statement to Amnesty International on Saturday, August 24th, 2013:
“It is without question that long-term solitary confinement causes irreparable harm to a person’s health – both mentally and physically. It is also irrefutable that state prisons and their agents are aware of the effects of this tortuous practice which is intentionally construed to break a person’s spirit.
“Many inmates who are held in solitary are suffering from mental illness and, lacking the capacity to process their conditions, are driven to suicide. Men who have been raped are thrown into solitary, allegedly for their own protection. They have no help and this compounds their suffering.
“I have seen many men who enter the solitary cell as sane individuals become completely debilitated after a short period of time. I have seen men lose their minds, I have seen men starve themselves, cut themselves and take their own lives. This inhumane practice does not make the prison a safer place for anyone.
“Simultaneously, state prisons are not equipped to provide even the most basic healthcare to men and women under their jurisdiction. Take my case, as a prime example. Following chronic weight loss and other symptoms, I was diagnosed with a ‘stomach fungus.’ My condition worsened and it took private doctors to identify a large mass on my liver and correctly diagnose me with advanced stage liver cancer.
“Had I been monitored for my hepatitis C bi-annually, as is standard care, this cancer could have been caught and treated months or even years ago. Men and women throughout this country are experiencing the exact same kind of mistreatment and neglect. I speak on behalf of every inmate whose voice has been suppressed when I speak out against these abuses.
“I am Herman Wallace. Free all the Angola 3. Free all political prisoners.”
Recently, Amnesty International and other organizations sent Governor Jindal a letter asking him to release Herman Wallace to his family on humanitarian grounds so that they can care for him in his final days. In addition, nearly 50,000 people across the United States have taken action to ask for Wallace’s release.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.