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Police who stopped female defendant wearing bra in court violated her rights, Osaka lawyers say

Kyodo

An Osaka-based lawyers’ group has protested a decision by local police not to allow a female defendant to wear a bra in court, saying it was a violation of her human rights, the group has said.

In a written petition sent Oct. 31, the Osaka Bar Association said the woman in her 40s being detained in an Osaka Prefectural Police Department facility was not granted her request to wear a bra during the first hearing of her trial at the Osaka District Court in July, prompting her to wear a cardigan over her top.

The lawyers’ group urged the police to take measures to improve the situation, as the denial had infringed on the woman’s rights and left her feeling a profound sense of shame.

An Osaka police official said defendants are not allowed to wear bras in local police detention facilities as the straps could be used for self-harm, but a defendant is usually allowed to wear one in court upon request.

Regarding the July incident, a detention official with the Osaka police said authorities “are not aware of such a request” by the defendant.

The Osaka detention center, which is administered by the Justice Ministry, allows detainees to wear wireless bras, in principle.

The Act on Penal Detention Facilities and the Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, governing both types of detention facilities managed by police and the ministry, states that inmates are permitted to wear their own clothing if there is no risk that the management and administration of the detention facility will be hindered.