Convict’s girlfriend sues over strip search

A woman is suing the Swedish state after prison warders forced her to strip while visiting her boyfriend.

The 27-year-old woman was strip searched during a visit to Tidaholm jail in western Sweden, where her boyfriend has been held since 2007.

Jail officials told her that all visitors that day were being either strip-searched or inspected by drug-detecting dogs, following an order from the prison service’s regional headquarters. The type of search to which each visitor was subjected was selected at random.

“She had never before been forced to undergo a body search at Tidaholm since her partner arrived there in October 2007,” her lawyer, Ricard Nilsson, wrote in a letter to the Chancellor of Justice.

In a letter to Nilsson, the prison service confirmed that the woman had at no point been suspected of any crime.

“Given that the type of inspection in question is an incredible violation of privacy, my client is asking why she should have had to undergo it,” Nilsson wrote.

The woman is now asking Chancellor of Justice Anna Skarhed to order the prison service to pay compensation. The chancellor, one of Sweden’s top legal officials, has previously criticized random strip searches, Ricard Nilsson claims.

The jail is a category B jail, the second most secure class of prison in Sweden.

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