Vybz Kartel Fighting Life-Threatening Illness in Prison

Vybz Kartel, the Jamaican musician, is currently serving life in prison while facing his declining health due to Graves’ Disease and two heart conditions.

Reporters have obtained a “sworn medical affidavit” that reports on his health and the decline of his conditions, as well as warns of the dangers of Kartel not getting medical treatment. Kartel, legal name Adidja Azim Palmer, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams. Isat Buchanan, Kartel’s attorney, has spoken up about the conditions that Kartel faces in the prison that continue to impact his health issues. He said “Mr. Palmer’s illness is actually life-threatening. . . He’s in a cell, and if you can picture a brick oven, because that’s how those cells are built. . .”

Last week, Kartel was placed in 23 hour lock down for the alleged use of a prohibited cell phone, creating an even more dangerous environment for Kartel given his health conditions. His family issued a statement that was published last week on May 25th. The statement says: “Of the 1,700 inmate population housed at the tower street prison, [only] Kartel and two other men who are already on a security block in the middle of the prison were put on 23 hour lock down because 3 cell phones were allegedly found on the block. But strangely enough, in addition to the 100s of cell phones found daily at that institution, thousands at lockups across the island, the supt seems to have ill will against Kartel. He is forced to be locked down in a cell without proper ventilation all day in the summer heat with the dust and salt breeze from the nearby sea.”

So as he is facing numerous declining medical conditions, Kartel is being sequestered to solitary lockdown in a small brick cell with “no air circulation,” along with no water and a bucket for a toilet. Buchanan enlisted the help of private physician Dr. Karen Phillips to create the medical report confirming the seriousness of Kartel’s conditions. In the report Dr. Phillips recommends Kartel to have surgery treatment “as soon as possible” since all of his conditions are still very prevalent and continuing to decline.

Buchanan discussed how Kartel’s health decline has begun to manifest in his physical shape changing. Buchanan told reporters after he saw Kartel, “His neck was swollen, if you think of a shirt that is about 18.5 inches in the neck area, you couldn’t close the collar on his neck and that’s how bad it is in this moment. His face is actually swollen. And one other thing. He always wears glasses; in this condition, that causes his eyes to protrude.”

Kartel’s family, doctors, and legal team are working to remove him from the section of the prison he is currently being held in; Buchanan has begun reaching out to the prison superintendent about Kartel’s solitary lockdown orders. Kartel and his team are also working to appeal his conviction in a UK court.

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