Constitutional Court rules for compensation payout to vegetarian convict over medical report
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyTurkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of a vegetarian convict in the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale who had claimed a referral to a hospital for a medical report on their vegetarianism constituted a violation of rights, issuing a 3,000-Turkish-Lira compensation payout.
According to the verdict published on the Official Gazette on July 14, a vegetarian convict who was serving a sentence in the Kırıkkale F-type high security closed prison demanded their protein needs be provided by eggs brought to either the prison’s inner or outer canteen. However, the prison administration denied the convict’s demand. Therefore, the convict appealed to the Kırıkkale Enforcement Magistracy demanding the cancelation of the administrative decision.
However, the magistracy also overruled the convict’s appeal. The convict later appealed to the Kırıkkale Court of Serious Crimes.
The court ruled the convict should be referred to a fully-equipped state hospital to obtain a medical report on whether they could eat meat and meat products or not. The court also ruled to meet the egg demands with their own pay if the convict was proven to be a vegetarian with the report.
The medical report said there was no medical inconvenience to prevent the convict from eating meat and meat products.
In response, the convict made a personal application to the Constitutional Court claiming his principal of equality and prohibition of inhumane treatment had been violated. The convict also defended that the referral to hospital to determine the convict’s vegetarianism violated the right to protect pecuniary and non-pecuniary existence. The Constitutional Court ruled that the vegetarian convict’s right to protection of pecuniary and no pecuniary existence had been violated, demanding 3,000 liras be paid to the applicant as compensation.
However, the Constitutional Court ruled against the claims on inhumane treatment, pointing to the fact the prison administration had provided alternative food for vegetarian convicts and a necessary menu had been provided in line with the convict’s nutrition choices.