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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Women's Prison Refuses to Accept Transwoman

[BERLIN, GERMANY] - When is a man a man?

This is the question Berlin attorney Matthias Zieger will present to the constitutional court. It concerns a 42-year old prisoner sentenced to the JVA Moabit. The person was condemned by the regional
court to ten years detention for homicide. Now she sits in the prison.


The prisoner suffers from a rare illness, Klinefelter's syndome. Behind this harmless name a malicious disease lurks. It does not
become obvious until the person is in their twenties, as the body changes in appearance from male to female. This 42-year old is a

According to the complaint of her lawyer, the prisoner is being kept in solitary confinement. She faces hate in jail, meeting with open hostility from fellow prisoners so officials separated her to prevent abuse.

The problem of the prisoner is obvious, however the JVA for Women refuses to accept her. The reason is that the prisoner has not had sexual reassignment surgery, and is still technically male. Therefore, the JVA worries about the danger of a pregnancy. The JVA did not appear, when an appraisal of the Charit excluded the reproductive capability of the prisoner by 99.89%. Although the Court of Appeal decided in the meantime: "the prisoner is to be shifted into the penal institution for women.", the JVA continues to refuse.

Matthias Zieger charges that the JVA in violation of the courts. Despite the existing resolution, the justice is not being done. The prisoner suffers from suicidal thoughts and is not in the position to visit community meetings. A desperate letter to the director/conductor of the institute for woman detention remained so
far unanswered. An improvement - according to Zieger - is not in view. A decision of the constitutional court can take months.

Berliner Morgenpost 2002

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