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Update on Kevin Rashid Johnson: Call for Support!
Rashid Represents Himself in Wise County VA Court
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
is fighting for his life.
Update on Feb. 16, 2024:
We have learned from a credible source that Rashid has been released from the hospital and is now at:
Kevin Rashid Johnson #1007485
VADOC has removed
Rashid from its inmate lookup page.
Update on Feb. 5, 2024:
The complaint filed on behalf of Kevin “Rashid” Johnson by Rights Behind Bars can be read here.
Rashid is currently imprisoned at the Powhatan Medical Unit in Virginia, a Virginia Department of Corrections facility.
Solidarity actions and messages have been launched by several organizations, media outlets, and individuals including: Roots Action, Prison Radio, Virginia Defenders, the San Francisco Bay View, Spirit of Mandela, Oakland Abolitionist, It ’s Going Down, and others.
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson has been leading a Hunger Strike inside Red Onion State Prison since December 26th to protest the prison’s use of solitary confinement inside. He has missed close to 100 meals. This week, prison officials took him to court to declare him incompetent, so that he could be force fed.
Rashid argued in court and the judge refused the prison’s request. Rashid represented himself in Wise/Norton District Court House VA and won. Rashid has stated that he will continue to refuse food until he is guaranteed adequate and necessary healthcare.
As of this past week, the VADOC has removed Rashid’s inmate record and number from their system. He has presumably been transferred. They are trying to disappear Rashid from his supporters and his attorneys.
“Rashid is incredible and inspiring. His demands reveal his strength in the face of the state's violence. We need to show up for him so his care is provided and that others are not subjected to violations of their 8th amendment rights to basic, necessary medical care.” —Noelle Hanrahan, Prison Radio
You can still call the VADOC and DEMAND that Rashid be allowed to remain close to a major medical facility. He needs to be allowed to stay in either Sussex I or Buckingham, on the east side of the state. Red Onion is far on the west side of Virginia. If he is sent back it will be impossible for Rashid to access his care.
Here is an example of what you might say on the phone:
Hi, I am calling with grave concern about the status of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson who is participating in the Red Onion State Prison hunger strike. He must be allowed to remain close to the medical facility where he accesses treatment for his prostate cancer and congestive heart failure. Please move him back to Sussex I or Buckingham. Additionally, the use of solitary confinement in the state of Virginia is cruel and illegal. I am demanding an end to the use of this practice inside your prisons. We are watching the strike and we will not stop calling until the striker's demands are met. Thank you.
The contact info is as follows:
VADOC Director, Chadwick S. Dotson
VADOC Interstate Compact Liaison,
VADOC, Chief of Corrections Operations,
Governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin
This is a matter of the utmost urgency as Rashid's vitals worsen by the day. We are very worried about him and we are receiving conflicting, unclear information from the VADOC, which indicates their efforts to obscure the truth about what is going on. Please share and take action in any way you can, and we will continue to stay alert to any updates on his situation.
Rashid has been a Prison Radio correspondent since 2012. His commentaries have always focused on exposing the prison system's abuses of power. The pattern of retaliation for his speaking truth to power needs to be stopped. Take action and join him in calling out these injustices. He needs your help.
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