Japan Prison Forced Transgender Woman to Shave Head; Bar Association Protests

HIROSHIMA — Onomichi Branch Prison in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, forced a transgender woman inmate to shave their head, Hiroshima Bar Association said.

The association announced Friday that it had recommended that the justice minister and the head of the branch prison to not impose unreasonable restrictions on hairstyles. The recommendation was dated Dec. 28.

Inmates’ hairstyles are stipulated by law, and prisoners can choose some kinds of hairstyle, but the bar association said the practice in the prison branch is a violation of human rights because it allows inmates to choose only one hairstyle, in which the entire hair is cut to 2 millimeters. The transgender inmate resisted the hairstyle in January last year, but was yelled at by branch staff, so she gave up and agreed to have the hair cut.