Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel’s health deteriorates

David Osoro
David Osoro

The health of Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel, who has been imprisoned for over a decade, is critically declining, according to his attorney and family. Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, has been battling Graves’ disease under what his attorney describes as “inhumane” conditions.

Kartel has reportedly endured these severe conditions for more than eight years, with his health deteriorating notably in recent days.

In May 2023, his doctors warned that his Graves’ disease and heart condition were worsening, necessitating urgent surgery to prevent potentially fatal consequences. His jail cell has been likened to an “oven” due to its extreme heat and poor ventilation.

He’s in a cell, and if you can picture a brick oven, because that’s how those cells are built, the ventilation is next to none,” stated his human rights attorney, Isat Buchanan.

Despite a medical report from his private physician, Dr. Karen Phillips, recommending immediate surgery, the directive has not been carried out. This delay comes amid recent legal developments where Kartel was denied freedom after winning an appeal on his murder conviction.

Jamaica’s Court of Appeal has scheduled a hearing from June 10 to June 14 to decide whether to release Kartel and his three associates or to pursue a new case. Kartel and his associates have been incarcerated since their 2011 arrests for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams, whose body was never found.

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