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Muslim inmate says he was fed pork at CNMI Corrections

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MOHAMMAD Rafiqul Islam, a Muslim federal inmate, is claiming that the Department of Corrections on Saipan had served him pork even after he told them that it is against the practice of his religion.

Islam, in a handwritten complaint filed in federal court, is suing Corrections, Corrections officials, and the U.S. Marshals Service office on Saipan, in their official and non-official capacities, for inadequate medical care and violation of his constitutional right to practice his religious beliefs.

Islam’s complaint named  as defendants Don Hall and Alfred Celis of the U.S. Marshals Service-Saipan, CNMI Department of Corrections officials Georgia Cabrera and Maria Aldan.

Islam said he has disgraced his religion and the Islamic community by eating pork.

Islam is seeking an award for an unspecified amount of punitive damages against the defendants. 

According to his lawsuit, he also has poor eyesight and his request to see an eye doctor has been ignored.

When he finally saw a doctor at Marianas Eye Clinic, and before he got his prescription glasses, Islam said  the U.S. Marshals “shipped” him to Guam on July 30, 2020 with two other federal inmates: Francisco Basa and Ed Blas.

Islam said he does not understand why the U.S. Marshals transferred  them to Guam in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At Guam Corrections, he said, they are very vulnerable to catch the coronavirus because “arrestees” from the streets of Guam were mixed with other inmates.

Islam has asked District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona for an order to return him back to Saipan “where he is safe.”

In 2018, Islam was sentenced by the federal court to serve 18 months in prison for his involvement in an illegal labor scheme. Islam and his  co-defendants David Phan and Muksedur Rahman were found guilty of two counts of mail fraud, three counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting, and one count of fraud and misuse of visas.

Islam began serving his sentence at the CNMI Corrections in January 2020.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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