A Yokohama area immigration office has apologized for mistakenly serving a Muslim man, who is interned there for unknown reasons, a meal that included pork, the consumption of which is forbidden by Islamic law.
For its part, the Yokohama immigration office says it attempted to accommodate the man’s requests for pork-free meals, but unknowingly served him a salad spiked with bacon pieces in an administrative foul-up.
Reports are unclear as to why the 49-year-old man is being held at the immigration office, but typically such measures are taken when a person attempts to enter or leave the country illegally. Obviously, more serious crimes, such as murder and assault, are handled by the police and perpetrators held in traditional jails.
According to the man’s complaint, he informed his holders that his religion strictly forbids the consumption of pork, and, according to accounts, the immigration office mostly accommodated his dietary needs.
Through some bureaucratic twist, the immigration office appears to have accidentally served the complainant a meal that included a side salad topped with a small amount of bacon, which the complainant then ate—apparently unaware until later that pork was an ingredient in the meal.
According to Japanese reports, the man then went on some kind of hunger strike to protest what he calls a grave human rights violation, taking only water and doctor-issued vitamin supplements until August 28, some 16 days after he apparently ate the bacon-contaminated meal.
It appears that the Japanese government does not require meals served to those being detained to adhere to religious standards, but the immigration office involved has nevertheless issued a statement declaring that they will take measures to ensure the man’s (and presumably any future prisoners’) religious meal requests be honored.