Romania: 5000 Euro compensation for a criminal Muslim – Right to have Halal food in prison

The case concerned the provision to a prisoner of meals compatible with the precepts of Islam.Mr Saran was held in five Romanian prisons (Botoşani,Codlea, Deva, Iaşiand Miercurea-Ciuc), between 2016 and 2018. He complained that he had not received meals compatible with the precepts of Islam in two prisons (Iaşiand Miercurea-Ciuc) which had required him to furnish written proof of his adherence to that religion, although he had declared that he was a Muslim when he was admitted to prison and the ethical and religious assistance records in Iaşi Prison had stated that hewas a Muslim.The applicant, Ion Saran, is a Moldovan national who was born in 1983. He lives in Braşov(Romania). Between May and December 2016 he was held in Iaşiand Miercurea-Ciuc Prisons, where herequested access to a place of worship and meals compatible with his religion. His requests wererefused by the management in both prisons and by the competent courts. The latter observed, among other findings, that Mr Saran had initially declared himself to be an Orthodox Christian andhad not subsequently produced any document proving that he was a Muslim.In December 2016 Mr Saran was placed in detention in Codlea Prison, where he was served with meals compatible with the precepts of Islam. He was subsequently transferred to Deva Prison where, from 7 April 2017 onwards, he also received meals compatible with the diet prescribed forMuslims.In view of that finding, the Court considered it unnecessary to examine the applicant’s allegationsconcerning the authorities’ refusal to provide him with a suitable place of worship in IaşiPrison.The Court held that Romania was to pay Mr Saran 5,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

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