URGENT ACTION ALERT – Save the life of disabled man up against the prison system
As the Paralympics are being celebrated, Daniel Roque Hall, a 29-year-old severely disabled man is fighting for his life in intensive care because of lies and neglect by the authorities.
Daniel was sentenced to three years in prison, not death, for attempting to bring in cocaine. Given the seriousness of his condition, he should never have gone to prison. His family say: “He is in an advanced stage of Friedrich's Ataxia, a degenerative, life-limiting disease. Wheelchair-bound, he has little voluntary movement. Speech impaired, he has difficulty swallowing, his heart is seriously damaged and he has Type One diabetes. Curvature of the spine puts pressure on his heart causing breathing difficulties and constant, severe pain. Intellectually he is unimpaired.”
The media’s censorship of Daniel’s plight is a cruel example of how the Paralympics are hiding a reality of discrimination, violence and sadism faced by thousands of people with disabilities – from cuts in benefits needed for survival, accusations of ‘scrounging’, assaults, and lack of essential care especially of women pensioners who are the majority of people with disabilities.
Daniel’s mother and friends have been fighting for his life. We need your support NOW. Without media coverage he may sent back to prison and die.
Please call and email these and any others in the media and insist they cover Daniel’s story – let them know his mother, Anne is always ready to be interviewed. Tell your networks, friends and family to do the same; sign the online petition, tweet, fb etc.
|Guardian newsdesk||Tel: 020 3353 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Guardian editor||Tel: 020 3353 email@example.com|
|Independent newsdesk||Tel: 020 7005 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Times newsdesk||Tel: 020 7782 email@example.com|
|Channel 4 News||Tel: 020 7833 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Radio 4 Today prog||Tel: 020 8624 email@example.com|
|Radio 4 PM prog||Tel: 020 8624 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|BBC London news (TV)||Tel: 020 7765 email@example.com|
PRESS URGENT: For interviews and more info, ring Angie 07827 817788
New Statesman article: The "physical and mental torture" of a disabled man in prison
Daniel Roque Hall, a severely disabled man, has been fighting for his life in intensive care in UCH London after 7 weeks of pain and neglect in Wormwood Scrubs prison (see background below). Last week in the High Court as lawyers fought for him to be released from prison while his medical needs were assessed, Wormwood Scrubs insisted he could get medical care there, yet HE WAS ALREADY IN INTENSIVE CARE, WITHOUT HIS FAMILY OR LAWYERS BEING TOLD. His mother, Anne Hall who has been leading a campaign to get him out of prison is now at his bedside and says: “Daniel has been tortured for 7 weeks and this week the prison ignored repeated calls for Daniel to go to hospital – even their own GP who saw him on Tuesday said an ambulance should be called. Nothing was done and they took my son to intensive care last Wednesday night, lied in court and didn’t even tell me until 24 hours later.”
ACTION ALERT… ACTION ALERT… ACTION ALERT….
Disabled man in prison needs urgent support
URGENT – Daniel Roque Hall is severely disabled and being denied urgent medical and personal care in Wormwood Scrubs prison. He needs your help to stay alive. Daniel’s mum, Anne Hall, is leading the campaign to get him out of prison because it’s killing him. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please sign this online petition and spread the word to your networks, press contacts, famous people, etc. Everyone needs to know the reality of how disabled people are treated, behind the hype about disability equality which is accompanying the Paralympics.
In 2008, WinVisible and other groups backed a precedent legal challenge by Kenyan asylum-seeker Peter Gichura, a wheelchair-user detained in immigration detention, which led to a High Court ruling that all places where people are detained were bound by the disability anti-discrimination law in force at the time, and the conditions have to be accessible. Mr Gichura later won a substantial sum in an out-of-court settlement. But this court ruling, and the current legislation, is being flouted in prisons and immigration detention centres alike.
Latest news: Daniel collapsed during a visit with his lawyer on Monday and there are emergency proceedings in the High Court today to allow him to serve the rest of his sentence out of prison. But a positive outcome is not guaranteed so all pressure is needed.
Background from his support campaign and family:
29-year-old Daniel Roque Hall is in an advanced stage of Friedrich's Ataxia, a degenerative, life-limiting disease. Wheelchair-bound, he has little voluntary movement. Speech impaired, he has difficulty swallowing, his heart is seriously damaged and he has Type One diabetes. Curvature of the spine puts pressure on his heart causing breathing difficulties and constant, severe pain. Intellectually he is unimpaired.
Daniel needs 24 hour, one-to-one care. An exercise regime repeated many times a day is vital to maintain as much muscle strength as possible and to reduce pain.
Never having been in trouble before, Daniel was arrested at Heathrow in November 2011 attempting to import cocaine. He immediately admitted his crime. Detained for questioning, the seriousness of his medical conditions meant that Border Control had to send him urgently to hospital; it was deemed appropriate that he then be sent home, tagged, to await trial, imprisonment being clearly unsuitable for someone with Daniel's severe disabilities.
Daniel appeared on four occasions before a judge at Isleworth Crown Court; committal to prison could not take place until assurances were given by Wormwood Scrubs that Daniel's health needs could be adequately met. His neurologist's report stated: "If the appropriate support is not put in place, Mr Roque Hall can deteriorate quite rapidly".
On July 6th Daniel was sent to prison, the judge having received an eleventh hour assurance from the governor that Daniel's health needs would be met. Within two hours of arriving at Wormwood Scrubs, Daniel, left alone on an examination trolley, had fallen off owing to an involuntary muscle spasm and suffered a head injury. Daniel takes Warfarin, a blood-thinning medication, so needed an immediate CAT scan for possible brain haemorrhage and other internal bleeding. The prison was not intending to act; it took repeated and insistent phone calls from Daniel's friends before he received the necessary hospital treatment.
Daniel was taken to an old people's home, where he remained chained to a prison warder 24 hours a day, was given no exercise whatsoever and was served food impossible for a diabetic to eat; after five days of this regime, Daniel was transported back to Wormwood Scrubs and denied access to his lawyer for 14 days. In the prison hospital wing, primarily housing prisoners with mental illness, Daniel is being denied the care he needs for his conditions. Wormwood Scrubs refuses to allow him to use any exercise equipment, essential for preventing further deterioration. Owing to this, he is in pain so severe he is unable to sleep. The effect of prison for Daniel is further and irreversible damage to his health and the shortening of his already curtailed life expectancy. It is "degrading, inhumane and manifestly disproportionate" (Private Eye, 27th July 2012). He is deteriorating daily.
Online Petition - Justice for Daniel Roque Hall
We, the undersigned, call on the Minister of Justice urgently to reconsider the case of Daniel Roque Hall before further irreparable damage is done to Daniel's health and before his already reduced life-expectancy be further diminished.
Wormwood Scrubs is woefully incapable of providing for the needs of a prisoner suffering from an advanced stage of Friedrich's Ataxia and we urge the Minister to ensure that Daniel serve the remainder of his prison sentence at a suitable place of confinement, properly adapted to his needs, or tagged at home. Online Petition: Sign here . . . .
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