Press Release – Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders) R130-559 – Hunger Strike at Ohio State Penitentiary

Press Release re Sddique Abdullah Hasan and Hunger Strike in protest of his being locked up in the holePress Release
Re: Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders) R130-559 &Hunger Strike at Ohio State Penitentiary

Contact: Free Ohio Movement, Tahiyrah Ali 330-366-6838, Khalifa Judge 216-213-4208
Jeff Klein 419-304-3520

On Tuesday August 9, 2016, Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders, Prison Number R130-559), of the Free Ohio Movement was transferred to the hole and denied access to communication and his property. There has been no response to several calls and requests for the reasoning behind this action and requests for clarification on his safety. The Tuesday prior (8/2/16) Imam Hasan was visited by law enforcement who inaccurately described September 9, 2016 (National Freedom Movement Day) as a plot to harm people and blow up buildings. This is totally untrue.

Please call Gary C. Mohr, OSP Director, immediately and daily:
Tel.: 330-743-0700; fax: 330-743-0841 until they release him. Ask to speak to the Director Mohr and demand that Hasan be allowed back into his regular cell and regain access to his property. The person they connect you to may pretend they only know Hasan by the name Carlos Sanders, even though his name was legally changed to Siddique Abdullah Hasan decades ago.

Hasan is one of the few public spokespeople for the national protest that will start on September 9. It is important that we stand up to repression and terror-baiting as soon as it rears its head.

Effective Monday August 15, 2016 the Muslim Prisoners, including Imam Hasan,will begin a Hunger Strike until he is returned to his cell, his property restored to him and have their concerns heard and addressed.

Supporters of Imam Hasan say this:
The state is coming after Hasan on very flimsy pretext to silence him and stifle his revolutionary organizing. We must stand up together against this repression, otherwise they will come to silence us all.
– Ben Turk Freeman of LucasvilleAmnesty.org & InsurgentTheatre.org

Our system of locking people up has not and is not working. To capitalize on it through what is effectively slave labor just makes matters worse – Attorney Rick Kerger

Please call the prison and share this alert as widely as possible.
Thank you from the Free Ohio Movement
FreeOhioMovement.org

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Statement by Cornelius Soja Harris about his peaceful hunger protest that he started on Oct. 12th

Statement by Cornelius Soja Harris, October 31st, 2013:
Because of the lack of fear in my heart and the victories I achieved at trial several months back, I am now a marked man, Every official at OSP from the correctional officer to the warden has violated their own policies when it comes to me. I have experienced some of the worst conditions a man can experience in prison; however, I have managed to control the extreme violence I am capable of inflicting on my tormentors, but everything has its limits, even patience.
I have been refusing food since the 12th of October, and it don’t look like there’s an end in sight. My demands are simple:
          I am asking the administration to put separations on me and the officers who were involved in the criminal cases I recently went to trial for, and
          To hand over my clothing items that were recently sent to me a few days ago. I was authorized to order these items by the former warden Bobby because my property was destroyed by officers several months ago. Deputy warden Remmick is trying to blackmail me with my clothing items, stating I will get my clothing items when I ride out of state.
          My final demand is that all of my informal complaints be fairly investigated and the officers who threatened and harassed me be punished, and all the fake conduct reports they wrote on me be tossed out.
I have tried to compromise with these people over and over, but compromise with such an enemy is impossible. They want me to surrender my pride, courage, individuality, self-respect and my self-determination, and that I can not do!
I am asking for the support of my comrades on the outside who care about the quality of justice.
I will continue to fight for myself regardless, but I know the power is in the people, and my people is who I want on my team.
Written by Cornelius Harris, October 31st, 2013, sent to the editor of Ohio Prison Watch.
Address:
Cornelius Harris
# 525945
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH 44505
What can you do?

Tel. of Warden Jay Forshey: (330) 743-0700, ext. 2000
Please call the prison and ask to speak to Warden Forshey, and please politely ask that he orders the humble things Cornelius Harris asks be done. You can email the Warden by writing his first and second name separated by a dot, followed by: @odrc.state.oh.us 
We heard from the Warden that he is trying to meet with Cornelius. Also that the harassment allegations are being investigated by the institutional inspector. – We wonder how independent the inspector is, but we hope that the harassments will stop. We want to trust the warden that he does everything he can to make sure no one is being harassed by staff, being that a prisoner is in a situation of dependency and that any (mis)use of power against a prisoner (or any human being) is detrimental to the prisoner, his or her development, human dignity, and that is in itself bad for all of humanity.

Please also write to Cornelius Harris #A525945 to let him know you support him. He can also be reached via Jpay.com.

Note from OH PW: Cornelius Soja Harris wrote also that the first shift shines the light in his eyes every time they do a security check, and refuses to take him to recreation. They also use racial slurs against him such as: “nigger”, as well as disrespectful terms such as: “bitch”, “fag,” “piece of shit.”

Lucasville Media Access Hunger Strike Ends

May 6th, 2013
For Immediate Release to the Public

From: Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Gregory Curry:

Lucasville Media Access Hunger Strike Ends
[click on link to hear the voice version by Hasan]

YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO– Today, at 3:15 p.m., Greg Curry and I, Siddique Abdullah Hasan, decided to end our almost month-long hunger strike. The strike commenced on April 11, the 20th anniversary of the Lucasville prison uprising. The sole purpose of our strike was to vigorously challenge the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) continuously denying us to have direct access to the media- that is: on-camera interviews with the media.

While both death-row and non-death row prisoners in Ohio are granted on-camera access to the media, those who have been reailroaded and convicted of crimes stemming from the Lucasville Uprising have continuously been denied equal protection under the law. 

And though ODRC policy permits its prisoners to meet with the media to discuss their criminal cases, this policy has not been applicable to those of of convicted of riot related offenses. In fact, in 2003, the then-prison chief, Reginald Wilkinson, made it perfectly clear to Kevin Mayhood a staff reporter at the Columbus Dispatch that: “no inmates convicted of riot crimes will be permitted to speak with [them].” This blanket and collective denial is contrary to ODRC’s own state-wide Media Policy, which Mr. Wilkinson’s successors have been unconstitutionally enforcing his vindictive directive. 

We want to thank all our supporters, as well as some reporters in the media, who have been agressively assisting us in challenging this unconstitutional media blockade.

We also want to thank the various organizations who have expressed interest in this matter– that is, the flagrant violation of our first amendment guarantees which protect freedom of speech and redress from government excesses.

Finally we want to thank Warden David Bobby for negotiating with us in good faith and for being the liaison between us and his hard-line superiors at Central Office.

Because of these factors, we decided to end our hunger strike and allow this crucial matter to be litigated through the court. God willing, we will be granted a resounding legal victory against the prisoncrats who wish to silence us in a deliberate ongoing attempt to prevent us from revealing the truth about our criminal convictions, convictions which are a serious affront and travesty of justice. Until then, I remain…

In the trenches,

Siddique Abdullah Hasan.
####

Press Release: Ohio State Penitentiary Hunger Strike Demands

March 132th, 2013

Contact: Ben Turk
Phone: 614-704-4699
Ohio State Penitentiary Hunger Strike Demands

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP)- Cornelius “Soja” Harris’ second hunger strike reaches 24 days. Less than a week after Soja suspended his 38 day hunger strike, he resumed refusing food. He is ready to come back off hunger strike if five simple demands are met.

He initially suspended the hunger strike he started on January 4th, with assurances from OSP Warden David Bobby that his missing property would be returned or replaced and that an institutional inspector to interview him. A few days later correctional officers at OSP interfered with a scheduled visit from Soja’s partner and threatened to destroy more of his property. On return from that visit, they refused to give Soja his morning meal. This harassment combined with the fact that Warden David Bobby had not taken action on his assurances prompted Soja to go back on hunger strike.

Soja states that he is willing to come off this hunger strike if five simple demands are met.

1. Return or reimburse for property guards destroyed during Soja’s first hunger strike.

2. Immediate transfer from segregation back to Sojas regular cell.
3. Lift restrictions from petty and fabricated conduct reports filed against Soja in retaliation for his hunger strike and the success at his trial.
4. End to harassment from Correctional Officers.
5. Opportunity to call outside supporters to make up for visits that guards cancelled or interfered with.
After missing 21 consecutive meals, the Warden authorized to send Soja to segregation. On his previous hunger strike, Soja was transferred to the infirmary. Officials claim that he was sent to segregation to monitor his food intake, but Soja believes this is actually punishment. Other prisoners in segregation are given 3 meals a day and could easily pass food to a hunger striker. Soja just endured a genuine 38 day hunger strike, with medical monitoring, so they should know he is not one to fake it. Segregation is punishment because it is loud all day and night from prisoners arguing, kicking doors and shouting at guards. Every other day someone floods their cell with toilet water, which runs under the door of other cells, so prisoners in segregation are constantly cleaning up toilet water, urine and excrement.
Death threats and harassment, including sexual harassment from guards is also common and ongoing. In a letter to supporters, Soja stated: “These cowards… want you crawling on your knees, weak and broken, they don’t want you standing strong, head up with no fear.” Soja has been refused access to the shower and his one hour of rec time out of his cell, without cause or explanation, on numerous occasions.

On March 3rd, Soja was put in a visiting booth with a broken lighting fixture and dirty glass, conditions which made it impossible for his visitor to see past the glare on bulletproof glass separating them. Another visit was denied altogether when Soja insisted that supervisors prevent the guards from again destroying his property while he was out of his cell. Soja has filed complaints for each of these incidents, with no remedy.

Since this harassment began the guards have also filed many petty conduct reports against Soja, resulting in increased regulations and limitations on his movement. Warden Bobby refuses to answer questions about Mr Harris’ situation. Central office also refuses to say anything about Soja’s case in particular other than to insist that the standard procedure for hunger striking prisoners is being followed. That procedure includes regular interviews and monitoring of the prisoner’s health.
According to Soja the bare minimum of that routine is being followed. Warden Bobby and Deputy Warden Remmich come through on their routine rounds, but they are casual and uninterested in his hunger strike. They don’t respond to complaints about harassment, and have threatened to send him out of state.
Soja also asked to “please give my thanks to all of those who supported me and my situation on the blogs and other communication lines.” He says he is “at the end of my patience… I don’t have too much left. Patience has it’s limits, take it too far and its cowardice.”

He has written an extensive statement, which he is hesitant to send out through the OSP mail room because guards may destroy it.

Supporters can call OSP Warden David Bobby at 330-743-0700 and demand that he meet with Mr Harris (institution #525-945) and discuss his reasonable demands. People can also call central office at 614-752-1159 and request that institutional inspectors review the Warden’s inability to control his correctional officers and compliance with procedures regarding hunger striking prisoners.

# # #

Cornelius Harris Is Back on Hunger Strike

This comes from Redbird Prison Abolition, March 2nd 2013:

Soja (Cornelius Harris) has resumed his hunger strike. He is demanding that his missing property be returned or replaced. Warden Bobby has previously agreed to do that. I do not know details about which property is still missing, but Soja does not believe the warden has made good on this agreement. We think he resumed his hunger strike on Tuesday or Wednesday, but have not heard from him since. Another prisoner in his pod has confirmed that Soja is on hunger strike, and has been transferred to the infirmary.

There is also reason to believe that JPay’s email system went down for a number of days last week. Soja’s daily emails stopped abruptly, other prisoners who write frequently have also been silent. When asked JPay customer service said they had a technical problem, and then put the caller on hold for 20 minutes. I got the first JPay email in a while today, it was sent out on Feb 19th.

Supporters can call OSP on Monday 330-743-0700 ask to speak to Warden Bobby, and demand that Mr Harris’s property be returned. Cornelius Harris’ prisoner number is 525-945. 

TODAY IS A CALL-IN DAY FOR SOJA

[UPDATE on Feb 12th: Soja has ended his hungerstrike on the evening of Feb 11th We do not yet know the terms. More information will be forthcoming]

TODAY IS A CALL-IN DAY FOR SOJA

Soja (also called Cornelius Harris) is an Ohio State Pen prisoner who’s now been on Hunger Strike for 36 days.
He is wagering his health and life for two basic demands.
Please voice your concern today and encourage the warden to meet Soja’s two basic demands:

  1. A reliable security step-down procedure. (It’s how prisoners have the opportunity to show good behavior. Warden Bobby granted this to other inmates last year.)
  2. An end to harassment and violence from guards. (Basic Safety)

It only takes a few minutes to give the prison a call, give it a try at:
Phone:
330-743-0700 ext 2006
An assistant will answer first, ask to speak with the Warden, David Bobby.
Example:

“Hello, I’m calling about an inmate named Cornelius Harris NUMBER 525-945. It’s my understanding that he’s been on hunger strike for 36 days now. I’m concerned for his health and want to urge you to meet his demands. I would also like to request that, given the increasing pain and risk of organ failure Mr. Harris is facing, that he be transferred to Corrections Medical Center (CMC) BUT NOT force fed.

I would also like to request that a number of items (30 items) that have gone missing from his cell be promptly returned.


Thank you for taking my call and I trust that you understand your responsibility to meet his requests as it says something when an inmate under you supervision is willing to wager their life for their greater well-being. Thank you again for taking my call and I will be keeping tabs on the outcome of this strike.”

Super Max Prisoner Represents Himself in Court while on Hunger Strike and Wins

This is a press release, published by Redbird Prison Abolition on Feb. 9th:

Contact: Ben Turk
Phone: 614-704-4699
Website: RedBirdPrisonAbolition.org

Friday, February 8th, Mahoning County, OH-

The jury largely sided with hunger striking super max prisoner Cornelius Harris in his criminal trial this week. Harris was facing nine felony charges stemming from fights with guards at The Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP). Harris has long maintained that these fights were actually initiated by guards who have targeted him for harassment and abuse. Earlier this week, a jury found largely in Mr Harris’ favor.

Mr Harris initiated his hunger strike on January fourth, and went to trial later in the month. He represented himself, and part way through the trial he was transferred to Franklin Medical Center (FMC) because of his deteriorating health due to the hunger strike. Mr Harris says he has lost about fifty pounds, and is experiencing sharp pains in his legs. Doctors report that he is close to suffering serious medical problems like organ failure because he has refused food for so long.

On Tuesday February 5th, the court Judge Maureen Sweeney ordered Mr Harris return to court to complete his trial, against the wishes of doctors at FMC. Harris was transferred back to OSP and appeared in court, ending the jury phase of trial on Friday, February 8th. Mr Harris was charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault, and three possession of a dangerous weapon while in detention charges. He was found not guilty of the attempted murder and felonious assault charges. Both attempted aggravated murder charges were reduced to felonious assault.

Mr Harris represented himself, with no assistance from lawyers, while his health was seriously compromised by the hunger strike. He says he is confident that under different circumstances, or with legal representation he would have also beaten the remaining charges.

As of Friday evening, Mr Harris is still on hunger strike. He was threatening to refuse water as well as food, a decision that would risk ending his life within 72 hours, but after the trial results and a meeting with the warden, he decided to drink water at least through the weekend. Mr Harris is making two main demands. First, an end to this harassment from guards and second, an improved procedure for security level review.

In June of 2012, Mr Harris released a statement, posted to RedBird Prison Abolition’s website detailing this abuse. In this statement he names correctional officers Timothy McVay, James Burns, Kieth Hawn and Waylon Wine as abusers. Mr Harris is concerned that these or other guards may escalate harassment and violence against him because of the results of the trial.

Mr Harris has been incarcerated at OSP since being transferred from Southern Ohio Correctional Institution (SOCF) in Lucasville five and a half years ago. The incidents producing these criminal charges occurred in 2009 and 2010. Mr Harris says he has not had any incident reports for the last three years, but has been kept on level 5 with severely restricted access to visitors, commissary and programming. Under these limitations, there is very little any level 5 prisoners can do to demonstrate good behaviour and reduce their security level.

In June of 2012, a death sentenced level 5 prisoner at OSP named Jason Robb went on a nine day hunger strike which ended with modifications to security review procedure and privileges for him and other death sentenced prisoners at OSP. These changes include limited congregate recreation, full contact visits, and increased frequency of security reviews. These changes allow the death sentenced prisoners at OSP to demonstrate ability to be housed on death row in Chillicothe. Mr Harris is demanding that these changes also apply to him. Mr Harris says Warden David Bobby is unwilling to meet these demands because he would have to apply the same changes to all level 5 prisoners.

Prisoner advocates say that these step-down procedures should be applied to all level 5 prisoners. Prisoners on level 5 at OSP spend 23 hours a day alone in their small cells, often for years on end. They have no human contact other than guards. These conditions are common in US super max prisons, but violate international human rights standards and are widely considered a form of torture.

Supporters are requesting that people call OSP Warden David Bobby on Monday, demanding that Mr Harris be kept safe from retaliation and have his hunger strike demands met. Warden Bobby can be reached at 330-743-0700 ext 2006. People are also encouraged to contact central office and demand oversight and changes to the security review system for level 5 prisoners. The number for Central Office is 614-752-1159.

Note from OHPW: Cornelius Harris’ ODRC registration nr is: #A525945