French court sets landmark ruling for Muslim Inmates
by: FFE EU News Staff
Halal* food has long been a very sensitive topic in France. However, a court ruling in the southern Isère department has recently reversed this trend.
An administrative court in the city of Grenoble has made a first in French history as it ordered the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier prison to provide halal meals to their Muslim inmates. This is the first time a judicial institution in the country has recognised that correctional systems should pay for food according to religious rites.
Lawyer Alexandre Ciaudo, who represents a Muslim inmate, said ‘It’s a very important decision.’ His client requested the jail director to provide non-prohibited meals for Muslims. After being rejected, the lawyer’s client filed a suit to authorities in the department.
The Grenoble court in charge of the suit upheld the inmate’s request on 7 November and ruled that the jail director breached Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights or free expression of religious beliefs.
The ruling added that the separation of the church and state forces the state to guarantee free religious exercise. Logistics to provide the meals was also not seen as a burden for the prison. The institution now has three months to comply with the ruling.
*Like Judaism with kosher food, Islam requires followers to adhere to certain dietary laws, such as giving up pork and alcohol, and only eating foods prepared in a certain way. Allowable food is known as halal, the Arabic word for “permissible.”