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Petitions

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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Mr Sabil Akhtar

9.33 am

:I wish to present a petition on behalf of a constituent, Mr. Sabil Akhtar, a Muslim, in Armley prison in Leeds, to the honourable Commons of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

In his petition Mr. Akhtar says that he has been refused the right to his correct religious diet. He has been told by the Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office that he can eat meat in lieu of pork or bacon. He says that in practice, that is impossible. Mr. Akhtar's petition says:
"At present I have no choice but to accept a vegetarian diet, which does not include any meat, except fish once a week. Should anyone on a vegetarian diet try to take meat, their vegetarian diet is cancelled immediately. As I am not a vegetarian I find this unacceptable. I find myself missing out on my diet at Leeds Prison due to the regulations in this establishment."
Another constituent, Mr. Intizar Shah, a Muslim, recently protested at the non-availability of halal meat at the prison by refusing food for five days. There are about 60 Muslims in Armley prison.

Mr. Akhtar prays:
"that your Honourable House will ask the Home Secretary to take action, so that I may have the correct food for my meals, that being halal meat.
And your Petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray."

To lie upon the Table.