The Bureau of Prisons is currently conducting several investigations into alleged incidents of harassment targeting Muslim inmates, including one in which a guard purportedly told the inmate, "This is what you get for being a Muslim."
Ten investigations of potential religious discrimination and harassment were referenced in a recently released Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report (PDF) about abuses of civil rights related to the Patriot Act. Most of the 10 allegations reference the inmate being Muslim or wearing traditional Muslim clothing articles.
Here are a few of the allegations from the OIG report:
- A BOP inmate alleged that a correctional officer confiscated a news article containing contact information for the American Jewish Council and asked why a Muslim inmate would want to contact a Jewish group. The inmate further alleged that another correctional officer harassed him for reporting the incident; that the first correctional officer later stated, “this is what you get for being Muslim”; and that another inmate heard that correctional officer saying how the prison staff will “get” the inmate.
- A BOP inmate alleged that a BOP employee made racially disparaging comments about various inmates and called two inmates “terrorists” based on their religious affiliation.
- A BOP inmate alleged that all Ramadan participants at the inmate’s institution have been subjected to harassment and prejudice by being targeted for full body pat down searches without cause and being subjected to inappropriate remarks about their religion.
In the same report, the OIG said four previously opened investigations, in which BOP inmates made some similar complaints, had each been closed after each of the allegations was found to be "not substantiated."
Elsewhere, the OIG report said the office is reviewing the FBI's use of communications metadata collected by the National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the NSA's controversial Section 215 program.
"The review will examine the FBI’s procedures for receiving, processing, and disseminating leads the NSA develops from the metadata, and any changes that have been made to these procedures over time," the OIG report says. "The review will also examine how FBI field offices respond to leads, and the scope and type of information field offices collect as a result of any investigative activity that is initiated. In addition, the review will examine the role the leads have had in FBI counterterrorism efforts."
Primary Source: DOJ Office of Inspector General Report (PDF)
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