Christian Democrat criticises lack of kosher prison food


Northern Europe


The Norwegian Correctional Service seems to have a blind spot regarding religion, a Christian politician writes. Photo RD

Two Jewish inmates in Norway are unable to get Kosher food in prison. That is a "particularly serious case", Christian Democrat Kjell Ingolf Ropstad believes.

The lack of access to kosher food violates the rights of the inmates to practice their religious beliefs freely, Ropstad states in a critical written question to the Norwegian Minister of Justice, Emilie Enger Mehl, from the Socialist Party. He demands the government ensures that this problem is solved.

The Christian Democrat acknowledges that the Correctional Service in Norway has a good reputation, Vart Land writes. Yet, "they seem to have a blind spot regarding religion", he adds. He points out that the "vision of an open-minded society, where people should live in line with their tradition from the cradle to the grave, must also be realised within the prison walls." The written question furthermore reads that "inmates who belong to religious traditions that emphasise practice and rules of living to a greater extent than Lutheran Christianity do not receive food that satisfies the requirements of their tradition, such as kosher or halal."


Ropstad refers in his question to the two Jewish inmates imprisoned in Norway since 2021. These two men have not been offered kosher food, which is understandable because there are not many Jews in prison, the politician writes. Yet, he is very critical of the fact that the prison has not actively sought a solution to the problem.

Instead, it rejected the idea of asking a catering company to supply kosher food to the prison, even if the inmates' families paid for these meals themselves. "All proposals have been rejected by the Correctional Service and have resulted in a large burden and additional punishment for the two inmates", Ropstad writes. He claims that one of them has lost 30 kilograms in weight.

Unit leader Tron Nerhagen from the Kongsvinger prison told Vart Land that the correctional centre solved the problem by giving the inmates raw ingredients to prepare their own meals.



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