Pregnant Women Handcuffed, Separated from Newborns in Japanese Jails, Alleges Rights Group

Human Rights Watch made shocking allegations related to the state of female prisoners in Japan on Tuesday. The human rights group alleged that in Japanese prisons pregnant prisoners are handcuffed and are separated from their newborn babies.

According to the international NGO, female prisoners are often shackled during labour and immediately after delivery birth. The HRW has prepared this report after interviewing around 60 formerly jailed women in Japan.

Japan’s Ministry of Justice denied some of the claims made by the HRW, saying that restraints are “not used when imprisoned women are breastfeeding, holding, bathing, or changing the baby’s diapers.”

According to HRW, newborn babies are often taken away from their jailed mothers soon after birth.

Nearly 4,000 women were in jails in Japan in 2021. Most of them were convicted of theft and drug-related cases.

In Japan, pregnant prisoners are generally handcuffed before entering and after exiting the delivery room of hospitals.


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