Sikh immigrants forced to shave in Arizona prison, 64 years old

<p> This dateless photo from the Arizona Correctional Bureau shows Surjit Singh seeking a federal civil rights investigation after correctional authorities forcibly cut off his beard. </ P> (AP) Arizona Correctional Bureau)” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTg4MS4yNQ–/–~B/aD0yMDAwO3c9MTYwMDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/″/></div>
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This dateless photo provided by the Arizona Correctional Bureau shows Surjit Singh seeking a federal civil rights investigation after the correctional authorities forced him to cut off his beard.

(Arizona Correctional Bureau by AP)

64 years old Sikhs Forced shaved immigrants Arizona The prison called We Ministry of Justice Investigate it as a violation of religious freedom.

According to the complaint, other ADCRR prisoners will suffer similar infringement unless the Justice Department investigates the Arizona Correction, Rehabilitation and Re-Immigration Bureau (ADCRR) for this misconduct.

In 2017, Surjit Singh was sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter. Singh is currently imprisoned in the Tucson Whetstone Unit operated by ADRR.

The complaint was filed by the Sikh Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union in Arizona, the ACLU Program on Religious and Religious Freedom, the ACLU National Prison Project, and WilmerHale LLP lawyers.

On August 25, 2020, ADRR officials told him that Singh’s English proficiency was limited and that his native language was Punjabi for a long time. He claims to have forcibly shaved his religiously mandated beard without giving him the opportunity to disagree.

“Still [ADCRR] Could not provide adequate language assistance and denied meaningful access to prison programs and services. “

According to the complaint on page 11, the only language assistance Singh received when he was forced to shave was “from Hindi-speaking ADRR staff, not Punjabi.”

According to the complaint, ADRR “has never provided Singh with a Punjabi-speaking interpreter, and to request prisoner handbooks, rules, and procedures he must follow, religious accommodation and doctor appointments. We also do not provide translated versions of important documents such as prison forms that must be completed. “

As a result, according to the complaint, Mr. Shin struggled to communicate with prison officials and faced “difficulty in getting a turban.”

Shin’s lawyer said his treatment was “nothing but terrible.”

“Forced shaving of a previously unshaved beard clearly violated his rights under RLUIPA (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized People’s Law). Beard Restriction Policy “.

It argues that ADRR’s facial hair policy is likely to violate the rights of many other prisoners in custody of institutions that believe in maintaining beards.

They asked the Department of Justice to investigate these policies and their implementation.

“The Department of Justice has announced that ADRR will adopt a clear and straightforward religious adaptation process in relation to beard policies, and that these and other important policies and documents will be translated for prisoners with limited English proficiency. We should take the necessary steps to ensure it. “

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