Tues April 16th, 2013, Youngstown, OH - At least twenty one prisoners at Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) refused all three meals on Monday, April 15th in solidarity with the four Lucasville Uprising prisoners who've been on hunger strike since April 11th.
Warden David Bobby says no additional prisoners are officially hunger-striking, because none have refused nine consecutive meals, but he said numerous prisoners have refused meals off and on during the hunger strike.
The four prisoners who are on hunger strike are Greg Curry, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Jason Robb and Bomani Shakur. All have been held in solitary confinement since receiving convictions after the Lucasville Uprising in 1993. They are demanding media be granted access to sit-down interviews with them.
The warden also met with the prisoners on Monday to hear their demands, but has not begun negotiations with them. When asked, Warden Bobby said that he does not have final say regarding media access. The decision is made by Director Gary Mohr and the Office of Communications at ODRC Central Office.
According to JoEllen Smith at the Office of Communications, there are many reasons media requests may be denied, and she insists that the same standards are applied to any and all requests. The prisoners from the Lucasville Uprising insist that this is not the case. They say other prisoners on death row and other prisoners at OSP are granted much more media access and that their constitutional right to equal protection under the law is being violated.
Supporters of the Lucasville Uprising prisoners are organizing a conference this weekend re-examining the facts of the uprising and the investigations following it. More information about the conference is available at Re-ExaminingLucasville.org.
The hunger striking prisoners request that people please call and email both and Warden Bobby to demand that media access be granted.
JoEllen Smith's phone number is 614-752-1150.
She can also be emailed at Joellen Smith
Warden David Bobby' s phone number is 330-743-0700 x 2006.
His email is David Bobby
Supporters are also asking people to write the prisoners letters of solidarity.
878 Coitsville Hubbard RD
Youngstown, OH 44505
Greg Curry # 213-159
Siddique Abdullah Hasan # R 130-559
Jason Robb 308-919
Bomani Shakur (Keith Lamar)317-117