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3 May, 2010 06:05

Fight for controversial death row inmate gains momentum

Supporters of one of America's most well-known death row inmates – Mumia Abu-Jamal – have gathered again to call for his release.

Known worldwide as the most famous inmate on death row, Mumia Abu-Jamal marks his 29th year in prison with his 56th birthday, which all his supporters are commemorating with a renewed cry for justice.

Mumia, a former journalist, was sentenced to death 29 years ago after being convicted of killing a Philadelphian police officer. Many believe, however, that he was framed through fabricated evidence and a false confession and is being held as a political prisoner.

Mumia had been involved in the Black Panther movement as a teenager, and spoke out against police brutality against black people.

The campaign for his release has gathered momentum worldwide, with some senior foreign political figures backing calls for a new investigation last autumn.

At a Presbyterian church in downtown Washington DC, activists and civil rights leaders from around the world have gathered to demand a Department of Justice-led investigation into Mumia’s case.

The Free Mumia movement is in its third decade, lobbying the fifth administration since Mumia was imprisoned. What makes the difference this time around could be the current attorney general.

Mumia's supporters and legal team marched to the Department of Justice to deliver a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder – the first African American to hold the position – calling for a new investigation into Mumia's case in 2010.

The protestors hope that, with Holder as Attorney General, Mumia’s case will no longer fall on deaf ears and will be heard once more.