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ACLU sues over prayer limits at federal prison
by Charles Wilson
Two Muslim inmates held in a special unit at the U.S. prison in Terre Haute say they aren't allowed to pray in groups as often as their religion commands and have asked a federal judge to ease limitations on worship imposed by the Bureau of Prisons.
The prison in western Indiana houses several high-security inmates, including American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh, who is serving a 20-year sentence for aiding Afghanistan's now-defunct Taliban government.
The June 16 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana challenges limits on Islamic worship in the prison's restrictive Communications Management Unit, where about 30 of the 40 inmates are Muslim.
Muslims are required to pray five times a day, but the lawsuit, filed on behalf of inmates Enaam Arnaout and Randall T. Royer, says inmates in the CMU are allowed to pray as a group just one hour a week. The ACLU contends that violates a federal law barring the government from restricting religious activities without showing a compelling need.
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