Trashing Korans in Federal Prisons

Remember the allegation that guards in Gitmo had flushed a Koran (which turned out to be false)?

Well, DOJ Inspector General’s annual report of civil rights violations committed by DOJ employees includes this allegation from a federal prison inmate.

A Muslim inmate alleged that a BOP correctional officer disposed of his Koran and personal letters in the trash, then lied in an incident report by stating that the inmate’s Koran and personal letters were confiscated and given to sheriff’s deputy escorts for disposition. A search of the trash by BOP officials confirmed that the Koran and letters had been thrown away and not given to the deputies as stated in the incident report. The OIG’s investigation of this matter is ongoing.

While (unlike the allegations about Korans in Gitmo) this appears to be harassment rather than an attempt to collect intelligence, it does suggest we still don’t understand protections for religious freedom.

  1. bobschacht says:

    Thanks for this, EW.

    Going off on a tangent: we must be prepared for “Strange bedfellows” in politics. Some of the significant opposition to extending FISA comes from Tea Party folks.

    Bob in AZ

  2. bmaz says:

    The reporting period ended 12/31/2010. The Koran incident had to have occurred some time before that. Why is the “investigation still ongoing”? Guard violated protected religious rights, guard lied about it, guard proven to have lied about it with direct contradictory physical evidence. End of story. Guard should already have been terminated.

    • emptywheel says:

      Dunno. If I believed in Santa Claus, I might think IG was investigating whether there was any evidence this was systemic or just an abuse on one inmate by one guard.

      But agreed, teh guard should be gone.

  3. greenharper says:

    I’m clear on the violation of religious freedom here.

    This Koran was also the inmate’s personal property. Ditto the letters.

    Is it OK for guards to “confiscate” inmates’ personal property for no articulated reason and to “give[] [it] to a sheriff’s deputy for disposition”? That can’t be right, either.