Judge orders Washington prison to provide Ramadan meals

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the Washington Department of Corrections to provide nighttime meals to Muslim inmates who have been fasting during the month of Ramadan, after several said prison officials refused to do so.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations sued the department Sunday on behalf of four prisoners at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, including one who said he’s lost 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) since Ramadan began in mid-May. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma issued his order just hours later.

The lawsuit said the prison’s policy was to require inmates to sign up for Ramadan meals by the end of January. Some said they tried to, only to find out after Ramadan began that they weren’t on the list.

The department did not immediately return an email seeking comment.