TO HEAR his advocates tell it, Mumia Abu-Jamal is still in danger, even after being discharged from a small-town hospital in the Coal Region.
"When we saw the state he was in, it's very clear what's happening here," Pam Africa, a member of MOVE and longtime Abu-Jamal supporter, told the Daily News yesterday.
"They're trying to kill Mumia," she said of the staff at the state correctional institution at Mahanoy.
Africa said Abu-Jamal, 60, was taken back to the prison early yesterday from Schuylkill Medical Center, located about 10 miles away in Pottsville.
He had been at the hospital since Monday, Africa said, when he fainted from complications from diabetes.
And the convicted killer of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner was looking grim upon his release. He was too weak to walk and had to be brought back to the prison in a wheelchair, Africa said.
His speech was slurred. He could barely breathe. His skin was "drooping off his body."
"Within the last few weeks, he's lost at least 70 or 80 pounds," Africa said yesterday in a phone interview from Harrisburg, where she and Abu-Jamal's family were waiting outside the office of Secretary John Wetzel, the head of the state's Department of Corrections.
They're imploring Wetzel to allow outside specialists into the prison to examine Abu-Jamal, who did not have diabetes before his incarceration, according to Africa.
Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital's intensive-care unit Monday under a shroud of mystery - his family and closest allies didn't know what ailment prompted his visit, and said doctors refused to disclose any information.
They've since been told that Abu-Jamal was hospitalized after his blood-sugar level had skyrocketed to 800, Africa said.
Last night, it was still abnormally high, sitting at about 300, she said.
The former journalist and Black Panther is also being treated for a severe case of eczema, a condition that has flared up in the last few weeks, she said.
Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook, fatally shot Faulkner during a traffic stop in 1981. He spent 30 years on death row before the order was revoked and is serving a life sentence.