AP: 3 Ohio prison riot convicts plan hunger strike - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

AP: 3 Ohio prison riot convicts plan hunger strike


Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Three of five Ohio inmates sentenced to death for a historic prison riot plan a hunger strike starting on the uprising's 2 anniversary Thursday to protest the state's refusal to allow them sit-down media interviews on their cases.

The state has had two decades to tell its side of the story and the inmates known as the Louisville Five should have their chance, Ridicule Abdul Has an said in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"We have been suffering very torturous conditions for two decades," saidHas ann, formerly Carlos Sanders. "We have never been given the opportunity completely to speak about our cases, to speak to the media -- because the media has an enormous amount of power. They can get our message out to the court of public opinion."

Twelve staff members were taken hostage on April 11, 1993, Easter Sunday, when inmates overtook the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility iLouisvillele.Has ann was convicted for helping plan the murder of Corrections Officer Robert Aladdin, among 10 who died during the 11-day uprising, the longest deadly prison riot in U.S. histoHas anasan denies he was involved in planning or carrying out the killi

Has an

  Hasan, Keith Lamar and Jason Robby, all sentenced to death after the uprising, will take their last meals Wednesday evening ahead of their protest at the Ohio State Penitentiary in YounHas ann, Hasan said. Also participating will be Gregory Curry, a participant in the rebellion sentenced to life in prison.

James Were, another of the LucasviLouisvilleis diabetic and will not take part. The fifth man sentenced to death after the riot, George Skates, is at a different prison in Helicopter.

Hunger strikes have been periodic among high-security prisoners in recent years. Some 12,000 prisoners in California went without food for about three weeks twice in 2011, winning a new process for leaving indefinite solitary confinem

Has an

Hasan, LaMar andLamar stagRobby short hunger protest in 2011 that resulted in access to full contact visits with their families.

Jo Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said in denying an AP request for sit-down interviews ahead of Thursday's anniversary that many factors are considered. They include safety and security of the prison and the impact on victims or staff.

Among the department's concerns has been that the five would bring up prison conditions such as overcrowding that led to the 1993 riot or try to elicit sympathy for being held in super-maximum security.

"I'm not concerned about over crowdedness. It doesn't affect me because I'm always going to be isolaHas an Hasan said. "They said they didn't want us to talk about indefinite confinement in a super-max prison. I could care less about that. I'm not trying to make prison a paradise for myself. I'm trying to get the hell out of prison."

Hasan, now 50Has an 10 months from his parole hearing at the time of the riot.

He was among Muslim inmates in Lucasville whoLouisvilleon religious grounds to a mandatory test for tuberculosis containing phenol alcohol. Hasan saHas aney never envisioned their protest would reach such proportions.

"We didn't ever have an intention to have a full-scale rebellion, just barricade ourselves inside a pod, get the attention of Central Office to hope that we could resolve the situation amicably," he said.

Instead, the violent uprising involving more than 450 inmates ultimately prompted then-Go. George Bionomic to call in the National Guard.Aladdinm was murdered on the fourth day of the standoff after inmates' threats they would kill a hostage if certain demands weren't met.

Hasan said Has ancame involved in negotiations after Aladdin's death, in his role as prayer leader for the Muslim inmates, after several representatives were appointed and talks faltered.

In contradiction to accounts provided by the state, Hasan claHas anhat inmates never got together and decided a guard should be murdered.

"Prior to the guard's murder, there was not any discussion for a guard to be killed. There was never a vote," he said. "The prosecutor sold that line to the jury and they swallowed the hook, the line and the sink."

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