Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel, seems to be fighting for more than his freedom as sources say he is also fighting to keep his health afloat. His lawyer recently revealed that the incarcerated Jamaican dancehall legend is suffering “life-threatening” illnesses including Graves’ disease and two heart conditions.
As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Azim Palmer, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 after he was found guilty of his involvement in the murder of his former associate, Clive “Lizard” Williams. The “Worl’ Boss”, as he’s popularly known, has been locked up since his 2011 arrest in connection with the highly publicized murder.
In a recent interview with FOX 5 NY‘s Lisa Evers, Kartel’s lawyer, Isat Buchanan, claimed the musician’s life was being put in danger as a result of the squalid conditions in the prison. Evers also received a sworn medical affidavit that reportedly showed Kartel’s private doctor had informed authorities that the incarcerated musician needed to undergo surgery as soon as possible because his Graves’ Disease diagnosis and heart issues were exacerbating.
“Mr. Palmer’s illness is actually life-threatening,” Buchanan, who is also a human rights lawyer, claimed. Kartel, 47, has been placed in a 23-hour daily solitary lockdown over the last week for an alleged cellphone violation.
“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,” said Buchanan, adding that the Summer Time musician’s health condition is taking a nosedive because of the harsh lockdown conditions. Besides a lack of ventilation in the brick cell and no access to water, Buchanan claimed the musician has been provided a bucket for toilet.
“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,” Buchanan told FOX 5 NY. “His face is actually swollen. And one other thing. He always wears glasses; in this condition, that causes his eyes to protrude.”
The medical report states that Kartel was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease seven years ago, adding that the condition hasn’t gone into remission though he has been taking medication. In addition to that, the She Holding On singer has heart issues, the report also claims.
“Fighting for his life, yes, because it can be dangerous,” Buchanan said. “We do not want to get a phone call to say that because he was under this 23-hour lockdown, and unable to breathe, that he succumbed to his illness.”
Kartel’s son, Adidja Jahiem Palmer, also said his family hopes his father is able to pull through. “It weighs on my heart, I think about it a lot, but honestly, we just have to stay strong and know he is doing the best he can,” Jahiem, who goes by the moniker Likkle Vybz, said.
Buchanan has since reached out to the prison superintendent as well as national law enforcement officials in the Caribbean nation.
In 2021, Face2Face Africa reported that Kartel’s lawyer, Buchanan, had filed an appeal against his conviction at the Privy Council in the United Kingdom based on new evidence. Per the appeal, the incarcerated musician and his attorney claimed that a British digital expert had been able to establish the convicted murderer’s phone was tampered with after it was confiscated by authorities following his arrest. The Privy Council is an advisory body to the British Monarch.