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Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace entered Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, USA, in their twenties. Now in their sixties, both men have spent the last 40 years in solitary confinement. We see no evidence for their apparently indefinite incarceration in isolation: it must end immediately. Despite more than 150 reviews of their case and numerous prison reports showing that they pose no danger to others or themselves, the Louisiana prison services continue to keep Albert and Herman in isolation, in cells measuring 2 x 3 metres – apparently indefinitely. We believe that Albert and Herman are being subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by Louisiana authorities.
In April this year, 40 years to the day since the pair were first placed in isolated incarceration, we attempted to hand over a petition containing the signatures of more than 67,000 people from 125 countries, all calling for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to immediately remove Albert and Herman from isolation.
Governor Jindal refused to meet us or accept the petition. He referred the matter to his Secretary for Department of Public Safety and Corrections, James M. LeBlanc, who claimed that Albert and Herman’s continued solitary confinement is because the men are a danger to prison employees, inmates and visitors (in contrast to prison records – which state them being neither a danger to others nor themselves). LeBlanc also denied that their conditions are inhumane. We want to see evidence for these claims.
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