THE alleged beating of a warder at Full Sutton jail has led to prison bosses battling to keep a lid on seething religious tensions.
The shocking situation was outlined in a letter – which has been seen by this newspaper – from Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to a convicted al-Qaida mastermind.
Last week three inmates were told they will face a trial at the Old Bailey over the alleged hostage incident in May.
Feroz Khan, 26, Fuad Awale, 25, and David Watson, 26, have been charged with falsely imprisoning a male officer at the East Yorkshire prison.
He is said to have suffered a broken cheekbone during the incident while asecond officer was also hurt.
Mr Grayling is concerned about ongoing tensions between Muslim prisoners and staff and other cons at the maximum-security jail.
In a letter written to inmate Rangzieb Ahmed, the minister admits the hostage crisis has had a major effect on the atmosphere in the prison.
“Mr Grayling is concerned about ongoing tensions between Muslim prisoners and staff and other cons at the maximum-security jail”
Mr Grayling wrote: “The incident that occurred on May 26 has had a considerable impact on staff and prisoners. The work in developing a positive culture where staff/prisoner relationships are central to the providing of a decent, safe and secure environment continues and the Governor and his staff at Full Sutton are committed to continuing that work.”
But Rochdale-born Ahmed – who was convicted in December 2008 of being an al-Qaida member and of directing terrorism – remains adamant he and other Muslim cons have been victims of discrimination.
Speaking through his brother Pervaiz, the 36-year-old told us: “I am not making this up. This is reality. It is not just me, it is other prisoners who have put complaints in as well.”
Prison bosses have now launched a “Muslim prisoners’ engagement meeting” and found a “more suitable place in the workshop area for lunchtime Muslim prayers”.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “We have looked into these allegations and concluded they are entirely baseless – there is no evidence to suggest staff at Full Sutton or any other prisons have acted inappropriately in the way described.”
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