ACLU wants prison warden punished for denying Muslims group prayer

American-born Taliban terrorist fighter John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2001.
Photo Credit: Crime Life

Lawyers for American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh said the Indiana federal prison Lindh is housed in is defying a court order allowing Muslim prisoners to pray five times a day.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition with the Indiana court Wednesday asking the judge to hold the prison warden in contempt “for not following a ruling made in January by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, saying Muslims have the right to group prayers in prison,” UPI reported.

Since the court ruling, the warden of the Terre Haute federal prison has only allowed the Muslim prisoners to pray three times a day rather than the five times a day the religion requires.

ACLU legal director Ken Falk now wants the warden held in contempt of court saying partial compliance of a court ruling is not complying.

Indiana Public Media reported:

“Our position is that the warden who is the defendant in this case, is in contempt,” [Falk] says. “He is willfully violating the order of the court, so we are asking that the court issue appropriate release so that the judgment is complied with.”

Sanctions the court could impose include fines or, in extreme cases, jail time.

The Bureau of Prisons was given 60 days to implement the ruling. It has now been nearly three months. A spokesperson says the bureau does not comment on pending litigation.



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