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Dancehall icon Vybz Kartel battling life-threatening illness in prison

Posted: Thursday, June 1, 2023. 11:07 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Adidja Palmer known globally as the dancehall music icon Vybz Kartel, is reportedly fighting for his life against two major illnesses while in solitary confinement in a Jamaican prison.

Fox 5 New York reports that Kartel is suffering from Graves disease, a thyroid condition as well as heart complications that have been made worse by him being locked in solitary for 23 hours a day.

Reports are that physicians recommended surgery months ago and that the conditions have progressed considerably since then. In an interview with Fox 5 Human rights attorney, Isat Buchanan described the conditions in solitary confinement as a “brick oven” with poor ventilation.

Kartel has been in solitary since last week over a reported cell phone use violation. His attorney says that he has been in contact with prison officials, and national authorities in an attempt to address the situation.

Kartel was remanded to prison in 2011 and in 2014 convicted of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 35 years, but on appeal in 2020 had the sentence reduced to allow for parole eligibility in 32 years and six months.

He currently has a pending appeal at the Privy Council in the United Kingdom, but notably, in February, his appeal to introduce “fresh evidence” at the hearing was denied.

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