Danish trans woman must serve sentence in men's prison

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Danish trans woman must serve sentence in men's prison
A gavel is banged in a courtoom. Photo: EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA/ Pexels

A Danish trans woman who changed their legal gender while in prison but did not undergo gender-affirming surgery must serve her sentence in a men's prison, an appeals court in Denmark ruled Wednesday.


The 62-year-old changed her legal gender from male to female in 2015, while serving a sentence for aggravated rape among other things.

In its ruling released Wednesday, Denmark's Eastern High Court found that the prisoner would pose "a not insignificant security risk for the female inmates".

The inmate had taken the Danish prison service and Hestedvester prison, in greater Copenhagen, to court, but both the district and higher court ruled that she must serve her sentence in a unit for men.

Danish law requires that an examination of an inmate, which involves undressing, must be carried out by a person of the same sex.

But the court said that the inmate being "strip-searched by men" and needing to "provide a urine sample" under the supervision of males did not violate the law on the execution of sentences, since it found that reference to gender in the law should be "understood as the biological sex".


The Eastern High court also ruled that the inmate's placement in a male unit did not violate her rights as it was not based on a lack of recognition of the legal gender, but on a security assessment.


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