US prisoner sued for viewing April 8 solar eclipse — World — Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

US prisoner sued for viewing April 8 solar eclipse — World — Headline News – Nigeria and World News

Six U.S. prisoners have sued authorities for permission to observe the April 8 total solar eclipse, the year's biggest astronomical event.

Inmates argued in court filings that their right to religious freedom would be violated if New York State Prison upheld a scheduled lockdown of the prison during the eclipse.

“Similar to the April 8 solar eclipse, solar eclipses are recognized by various religions as special events that warrant gathering, celebration, worship, and prayer,” the submission filed March 29 said. It is stated in.

“Each of the inmates has expressed a sincere religious belief that the April solar eclipse is a religious event.”

In an advisory issued last week, the New York City Department of Corrections said that “visitations will be suspended for facilities in progress.”

A total path is an area where the moon completely blocks the sun.

The document does not list the reason for the state's restrictions, which are one of 11 in the path of a total solar eclipse, officials said.

The department said in a statement that prisoners in state custody “will be returned to their residences” before the eclipse.

The state's “correctional facilities will operate on a holiday schedule and only programs mandated by statute” but inmates will still be issued with Eclipse safety glasses, the statement added.

“Solar eclipses are recognized as events of great religious significance by Christians, including Baptists like plaintiff Travis Hudson and Seventh-day Adventists like plaintiff David Haig.” the prisoners' lawsuit said.

“A total solar eclipse is also an event of great religious significance for atheists like Plaintiff Jeremy Zielinski,” the complaint added.

Still other plaintiffs claim that solar eclipses have religious significance for Muslims.

The Department of Corrections declined to comment on the lawsuit.

An estimated 32 million people live inside the total zone, and an additional 150 million people live within 200 miles (320 kilometers) of the belt, according to NASA.

The Perryman Group, a Texas-based research firm, estimates that the direct and indirect economic impact of this year's eclipse could reach $6 billion.

This year's total path is about 115 miles wide, wider than in 2017. It begins in western Mexico, arches through U.S. cities like Dallas, Indianapolis, and Buffalo, and ends in eastern Canada.

Many schools along the route, including in Cleveland and Montreal, are closing or planning to have students leave school early.


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