Campaigners urge that trans woman be moved from men’s prison

Joseph McCormick February 7, 2016
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Update: A protest planned for 9.30am on Monday 8 February has been cancelled. A campaign to have the woman moved to a women’s facility is continuing.
A campaign has started in London tomorrow, after allegations that a trans woman was sent to a men’s prison facility, and refused her HRT drugs.

The unnamed trans woman of colour is the subject of a petition.

Organisers of the campaign say the woman was arrested on Thursday 4 February, and processed at Shoreditch Police Station, where she was denied access to her hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs.

The Metropolitan police, however, deny that the woman was declined her medication.

Campaigners say, after her hearing, the woman was detained in HMP Thameside, a private men’s prison facility.

HMP Thameside

They claim the woman was sent to HMP Thameside, a men’s facility, but that it is unclear whether she has now been given access to her treatment.

The petition calls for the woman to be rehoused in a women’s facility, and for her to be ensured access to her HRT drugs.

It is understood that the woman remains in police custody at HMP Thameside, and a hearing has been arranged at Thames Magistrates for Monday 8 February.

The campaign reads: “Placing her in a prison facility which is not gender-appropriate is completely unacceptable and a violation of her human and civil rights (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, 1999); moreover, gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.”

A statement from the Metropolitan police reads: “The prisoner was seen by a force medical examiner on a number of occasions. Relevant medication was provided.

“The 25-year-old prisoner was charged with common assault on Thursday, 4 February, at a Tesco store in Commercial Street, Hackney.”

At the time of publication the petition had been signed by over 2,000 people.

The UK government has been urged to build a specialist unit to house transgender people – after a series of scandals surrounding women in men’s prisons.

Two transgender prisoners died within weeks of each other last year – while being kept in all-male facilities. Inquests have open into the successive deaths of Vikki Thompson at HMP Leeds, and Joanne Latham at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes.

A third prisoner, Tara Hudson, has been vocal in criticising her treatment after being kept in a male prison- while a shocking fourth case revealed a trans woman “injected bleach” into her testicles while being kept in a male prison.

The Ministry of Justice declined to comment.

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More: jail, prison, Trans, Transgender

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