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Stop feeding Muslim inmates pork, court tells Alaska prison

29th Jun 2018

 

Harun Nasrullah

A Federal judge has ordered an Alaska prison to stop feeding Muslim inmates pork to break their fasts during Ramadan.

A restraining order was granted by a court on May 25 after the lawsuit by CAIR accused the Anchorage Correctional Complex of “cruel and unusual punishment”.

In a lawsuit filed on May 22, claimed two Muslim prisoners were being “starved”, as corrections officers were offering them pork-based meals as they observed the holy month.

The suit demanded a “balanced nutritional diet” for the inmates, policy changes and compensatory and punitive damages, the group said.

It claimed those observing Ramadan receive bagged meals each evening after sunset that provided between 500 and 1,100 calories a day, arguing the men should be receiving 2,600 to 2,800 calories a day under federal health guidelines.

Food given to inmates contained sandwiches filled will Bologna ham, and no alternatives were offered, the lawsuit said.

“The constitution and congress forbid prisons from compelling inmates to choose between their faith and food,” said CAIR’s national litigation director Lena Masri.

“We hope that a court will do what Anchorage Correctional Complex officials will ensure that Muslim inmates are not starved or forced to violate the principles of their faith during the holy month of Ramadan.”

An attorney for the state, Matthias Cicotte, disputed allegations made by CAIR that the prisoners were deprived.

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