Imagine spending the majority of your adult life in a space not much bigger than your bathroom. Two paces wide by three deep. For 23 hours a day, every day.
This has been the reality for Herman Wallace (and his friend Albert Woodfox) for almost all of the last 41 years- held in solitary confinement or 'closed cell restriction' (CCR) in prisons in Louisiana. They've been in a single room for longer than I've been alive.
Herman and Albert – alongside the released Robert King – are the 'Angola 3', who have remained in solitary almost continuously since 17 April 1972.
Just a few weeks ago we shared the news that Herman, after decades in solitary confinement, had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, and we asked you to start writing messages of solidarity. This week we've asked you to email the Governor, Bobby Jindal, and request Herman's release on humanitarian grounds – and over 10,000 of you have sent a message already!
Four members of Congress have also written a letter to the US Department of Justice, alleging the Louisiana authorities are violating both the Constitution and federal law with its use of CCR. And now Herman has been moved to a ten-person dorm - great news after so long in isolation.
But this isn't enough. Herman is a frial, old man, and records show he isn't a threat to prison security. We need to keep up the pressure more than ever.
Governor Jindal is an active Twitter and Facebook user - please join our social day of action and send a tweet or a Facebook message askingn him to take action
Send a tweet
To send the Governor a tweet, just hit the button below. If you prefer, you can write your own, please include #HermanWallace, and please keep it respectful.
Tweet #HermanWallace .@BobbyJindal, please show humanity, free #HermanWallace on humanitarian grounds
And please share this with your friends so that they can tweet Bobby as well
Tweet 41yrs in solitary and now terminally ill, Herman Wallace needs our support. Join our call: Free #HermanWallace now
Post on Facebook
The Governor is also on Facebook and you can leave him a message here. We’d suggest a message like this. Again, you can write your own but keep it polite and respectful:
Dear Governor, I’m respectfully writing to ask you to release Herman Wallace on humanitarian grounds, following his diagnosis with terminal liver cancer. Please show this frail, old man humanity, and release him to the care of his family.
Thank you for sharing our messages – and if you haven’t already, please email the Governor as well
Already in jail in the early 70s, they founded a prison chapter of the Black Panther party to campaign for better treatment for inmates. At this point, conditions in the Angola prison were brutal – racism was rife, prisoners were racially segregated, and sexual slavery was widespread. They were accused (and found guilty) of the murder of a prison guard – a crime they have always maintained they were innocent of. . The convictions are so unsound they're still being challenged in the courts today
About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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