Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hasan Threatened with Conduct Report After Live Interview with NPR's On Point

Last Wednesday Siddique Abdullah Hasan called in to On Point with Tom Ashbrook using the prison phone line. He participated in a conversation about the national prisoner work stoppage and protest. 
 
The following day a prison official told him that he will be facing disciplinary action for exercising his first amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press. This is the second time in two months that prison authorities have targeted Hasan in relation to his participation in the Free Ohio Movement and his support for nation-wide prisoner struggles.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) is also facing an civil liberties lawsuit on the grounds of the 14th amendment's equal protection clause from Hasan, other survivors of the Lucasville Uprising, and various reporters who have been unconstitutionally denied official access to interviews over the years. 


Read a letter from Hasan describing the conversation about the impending disciplinary action against him. Also, audio of Hasan reading the letter is here.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I trust that everyone is doing well and staying focused on the various struggles we have been compelled to peaceful challenge both in society and behind enemy lines (in prison). As for myself, I have been experiencing another round of harassment as a result of my speaking out against prison slavery and the super economic exploitation of prisoners and their families and friends. Please allow me to explain the latest harassment by the prisoncrats in their attempt to silence me.

While on a visit yesterday with a friend and staunch supporter of mine, the Ohio State Penitentiary investigator, Mr. Wylie, came to my table and wanted to speak with me. My visitor excused herself and Mr. Wylie sat in her seat and then began to explain the nature of his urgent visit with me.

He commenced by stating, "I want to talk to you about the interview you did yesterday [Wednesday] with NPR News." He continued with, "While I am not going to write you up, I wanted to give you a warning that you are not allowed to do radio interviews with the media." I explained to him that that was not correct and that the understanding I, as well as my attorneys and the media, had was that neither OSP nor its superiors at Central Office [Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction] would allow members of the media to conduct on-camera interviews with me or be allow to bring in any recording devices. Also, if I wanted to speak with the media, I could use my phone time for this purpose or the media could pose written questions to me via correspondence. This is what was explained to me and/or interested reporters whom have always desired to speak with me regarding the facts of the 1993 prison uprising that rocked the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. In fact, OSP and/or ODRC has even facilitated my visits with the media and there are documents to substantiate this claim. Now, due to prisoners and their supporters challenging and speaking out against prison slavery, mass incarceration, and the super economic exploitation of prisoners, their families, friends and loved ones, OSP wants to threaten me with additional sanctions.

Everyone of you know me, and you know that I am not a coward nor some passive "nigger" the system can push around by trying to dictate what I can and cannot say to my friends, supporters, and members of the media. Thus, I made it perfectly clear that tricks were for kids and sometimes silly rabbits, and because I was neither a kid nor a silly rabbit, I would not capitulate to his unconstitutional demands. The other demand being, I should not use the word that I was an organizer and member of the Free Ohio Movement. FOM is one of the many organizations that supports prisoners in Ohio and is lending their voices to the prison liberation movement.

I thanked him for bringing his concerns to my attention, albeit his unexpected visit did alter the remaining flow and discourse with my visitor. In short, his visit kind of angered me. I mean, I am a 53-year-old man being told who I cannot talk to. Not because of the contents, but merely because of the source (the media).

Upon the conclusion of my visit and after being stripped searched and being ready to be taken back to my cell, an officer in the Control Center told the two escort officers to put me back in the cage because someone wanted to talk with me. In truth, I thought it was a move to have me placed in isolation. But, guess what? It was Mr. Wylie again.

He wanted to tell me that he had his orders, that the matter was much bigger than he was initially told, that he has to listen to more of my phone conversations, and that, for starters, he would be writing me a conduct report for unauthorized use of the phone. Moreover, he had me put in the cage because he wanted to be the first one to inform me of these new developments, especially since he had initially told me there would be no write up. (I want to mention that Mr. Wylie was very polite and respectful on both occasions. It appears that he was getting his orders from a higher authority.)

In conclusion, I want to say that I am doing well, all things considered, and remain unbowed, unbroken. I refuse to sit dormant and accept this blatant harassment from my captors. Thus, I am making an appeal to you, the media, activists, and revolutionary-minded people to get involved with my case, a case of harassment that is a serious affront and travesty of justice. What they are trying to impose on me is unconstitutional, and I will never accept it. So let's organize and take action. Let's show these oppressors that the power of the people is greater than those in power.

Until again, I remain . . . . In the trenches and unbroken.

With revolutionary love and salute,

Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan

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