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Merle Africa, 40
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania
March 13, 1998

Agencies: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ​SCI Cambridge Springs

Last updated: 5 months ago

Summary Help icon

Merle Austin Africa, a member of the MOVE organization, died March 13 in Pennsylvania's Cambridge Springs prison.

Prison administrators first claimed she died of "tumors." They later revised the reason for her death to "natural causes."

Ramona Africa of the MOVE family told reporters that Merle Africa was a physically and mentally strong 40-year-old woman.

Merle Africa's mother was only told about her daughter's death after she called prison officials and insisted on knowing what had happened.

Another MOVE member, Debbie Sims Africa, was in the cell with Merle Africa when she suddenly became unconscious. Guards removed Debbie Sims Africa from the cell, and did not let her watch the paramedics work on her sister.

Eddie Africa, jailed in SCI Camp Hill prison, has reportedly been denied the right to make any telephone calls since his sister's death.

MOVE is holding all the "system officials"-those responsible for putting and keeping Merle in jail-responsible for her death. The MOVE organization has been subject to years of state brutality for their exposure of racist cops and calls for revolution.

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