UPDATE: The hearing regarding Buju Banton’s dietary concerns was held on Friday March 26. Judge Anthony Porcelli refuted claims that Buju lost 40 pounds. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Capt. Mark Fletcher presented evidence that Buju weighed 150 pounds when booked in on January 5 and, as of March 22, had gained 11 pounds to weigh in at 161 pounds.
Buju was also denied bond forcing the reggae superstar to remain in custody and in the more “secure” unit he was moved to as punishment for sharing food (translation: isolation!).
David Markus, Buju’s attorney disclaims the evidence, “Mr. Myrie has not gained weight,” he said. “The man is much smaller and lighter.”
Although Judge Anthony E. Porcelli did not grant bond to Buju, he did order that Buju continue to have full access to his legal team while in isolation his secure unit. Additionally, the jail is reportedly now providing Buju with vegetarian meals.
ORIGINAL STORY 03/23/2010: Jah know my bwoy Buju Banton is facing some real legal challenges! Buju has reportedly lost over 40 lbs because he is not being allowed to follow his strict Rastafarian dietary requirements while being held at the Pinellas County Jail. David Markus, attorney for Buju Banton is requesting that his client be moved immediately. David Markus filed a motion on Monday morning and the hearing on dietary issues is set for Friday, March 26.
If the allegations are true, this is a clear violation of Buju’s human rights. Although Buju is not a U.S. citizen and here only on an entertainer’s visa, there are basic human rights that are afforded to all those imprisoned. Buju is not only being denied his dietary requests but has reportedly been placed away from general population as a punishment for actually giving away the food he is refusing to eat. Food is considered to be currency in jail and, hence, not to be traded. Whateva! Shame on you Pinellas County Jail!
Buju was jailed back in December for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine. Buju keep your head up, Jah Jah lives!!!!