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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Canterbury Prison Spent £17,000 Installing Muslim-Friendly Amenities

An all too familiar story from The Kent Messenger:
A prison has spent thousands of pounds on special toilets for foreigners and footbaths for Muslims.

About £17,000 was found to convert toilets and showers at Canterbury Prison, which only holds foreign nationals awaiting deportation, and to aid its 92 Muslim inmates.

Figures obtained from the Ministry of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act show the money was spent on two footbaths, a “squat” toilet and a shower area. Footbaths are often used by Muslims as they are required to wash their feet before prayer.

However, the area is not exclusive to Muslims and can be used by all inmates.

The expense has been slammed by pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance. Chief executive Matthew Elliott said: "It’s ridiculous that we are spending so much money on prisoners who should have been deported, rather than kept here as a burden on innocent taxpayers.

"Making basic provision for people’s needs is one thing, but there is no reason at all why there should be special toilets installed."

Canterbury Prison is the first in the country to fulfil the unique role of holding only foreign national prisoners. The Prison Independent Monitoring Board’s annual report published in July, showed inmates represent 66 different nationalities, speak 33 different languages and practice 17 different religions.

Representative Amy Bushell defended the bill for “squat” toilets.

She said: "In the prison’s overall refurbishment programme budget, the cost of the installation was relatively small.

"People who choose to use such facilities cover many nationalities, cultures and religions. We would have been greatly disturbed if these had been provided for just one group alone, as it would have excluded other individuals from using them."

Ah - so footbaths for Muslim prayers are for "all groups" are they, Amy?

On paper, perhaps.

One wonders if this is actually the test for getting residency in Britain - if you can't use a normal toilet (which demonstrates nicely the calibre of people rolling up), that's an instant fail and you get sent to a nice prison which has suitable facilities before you're sent back to a country which doesn't have such trivial nonsense as sanitation.

As for the language used - I've stayed in hotels which don't have such a range of choices on offer.

Is it any wonder this country is the laughing stock of the world?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes what a joke we have become?