Polish prisoner managed to get 3 thousand euros in compensation for moral damages. The lawsuit was connected with the fact that the prison kitchen does not provide for vegetarian meals.
Following Buddhist tradition, Janos Jakobski was forced to eat meat and meat dishes for eight years of his term.
The idea to go to the European Court of Justice came to Janosz after the prison administration had once again refused to exclude meat from his menu.
Court of Human Rights affirmed the violation of prisoner’s right to freedom of religion. Lawyers for the Polish government in turn argued that vegetarianism is not an integral part of Buddhism and its religious rituals.
The authorities argue that, among other things, the funds allocated for the prison would not be enough to provide special diets for the inmates.
Different schools and schools of Buddhism practise vegetarianism, but only some branches of Buddhism, for example Mahayana, strictly forbid eating meat.
According to Mr. Janosz Jacobski, 45, he belongs to this very trend and he is instructed to be a strict vegetarian. In his appeal to the court, Jakobski spoke about his desperate situation during his imprisonment: as a vegetarian, he had to give up prison food altogether. In turn, the systematic refusal of food is considered an act of protest hunger strike, which is punished.
The Strasbourg Court in its ruling has confirmed the violation of Article 9 of the Convention on Human Rights.
The court also found that the breach of the law was due to the lack of adequate provision of the prison.
However, Polish authorities do not believe in the sincerity of the victim, suspecting that the slick prisoner had launched all the legal proceedings for profit. According to prison captain Artur Bojanovic, Jakobski had previously demanded that a crucifix be allowed on one of his cell walls, convincing everyone that he was a true Catholic.
Most likely, it is not only about the amount of compensation, but also about the desire to get even with the prison administration and the legal system.