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    Muslim prisoners ‘fed ham sandwiches by guards’ after breaking Ramadan fast

    A federal judge has ordered an Alaska prison to stop feeding Muslim inmates pork when they break their fasts during Ramadan, a civil rights group says.
    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said a restraining order had been granted by a court on Friday after it accused the Anchorage Correctional Complex of “cruel and unusual punishment”.
    In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, CAIR claimed two practising Muslim prisoners at the jail were being “starved”, as corrections officers were offering them pork-based meals as they observed the holy month. 
    The suit demanded a “balanced nutritionaldiet” 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 packages given to inmates contained sandwiches filled will Bologna ham, which they were prevented from eating by their faith 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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