18:09, Tuesday, 26.03.2019
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Menu for muslim convicts during fasting


Natia Gogolashvili

Lawyer of Human Rights Center stated that during fasting period, in the penitentiary establishment # 5, special menus are not offered to Muslim inmates. As HRC lawyer Nestan Londaridze clarified, the Muslim convicts do not complain about it loudly because they are afraid to encounter problems.

“Some foreign convicts complained about this problem with me. Generally, it is difficult for them to get food prepared according to their traditions and religious beliefs in the prison facility. Namely, they cannot get halal meat products. In May, Muslims are fasting but the prison administration does not create conditions for muslim inmates to fast. During one month, every day, they cannot get food before sunset. They can eat only during night hours. However, the last meal of the day is at 6 pm in prison. During supper, prison inmates mostly have sausages and Muslims cannot eat them because they are not prepared according to the halal rules. They have to keep food from previous meals and in fact they eat spoilt food as not many of them can use the fridge,” Nestan Londaridze said. 

The lawyer said the prison administration has different approach to Orthodox inmates: “In the case of Orthodox prisoners, the administration creates lists of inmates, who are fasting, and they get special food during the fast,” Nestan Londaridze said.

Representatives of the Ministry of Corrections denied information about this problem. As the head of the legal department of the Ministry Aleksandre Darakhvelidze said, in the period of fast, prison administrations consider the requirements of the Orthodox and Muslim inmates in the menus. 

“In the penitentiary establishment # 5, issues related with the menu for the defendants/convicts are regulated by the Prison Code of Georgia and the Joint Edict №88- №01-34/N, August 13, 2015, of the Minister of Corrections and Minister of Healthcare. In accordance to the Article 8 Paragraph 4 – “g” of the edict, in exceptional cases, desires and requirements of the prison inmates may be taken into account according to their medical documents, religious or other beliefs. Consequently, requirements of the Orthodox and Muslim defendants/convicts are satisfied during fasting,” Aleksandre Darakhvelidze said. 

The article was prepared in the frame of the project – “Monitoring Conditions of Juvenile and Female Prisoners in Georgian Penitentiary”, which is implemented by Human Rights Center with the Bulgarian Development Aid through the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Georgia. The views in the article do not necessarily express the views of the donor and it is responsible for the content of the article.

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