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Prisoner whose beard was forcibly shaved seeks investigation

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Posted at 3:14 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 18:14:51-04

PHOENIX (AP) — Lawyers are seeking a civil rights investigation of the policies that let Arizona corrections workers forcibly shave the beard of a prisoner who is Sikh and told the employees that his religion forbids shaving.

Attorneys representing Surjit Singh alleged his religious freedoms were infringed when employees restrained him and shaved his beard before taking his photo as he was entering the state's prison system.

Singh alleged staff tried to shave him again when he was transferred to the Douglas prison, but employees eventually relented.

Corrections officials said they resolved the issues raised by Singh and sent apology letters to the Sikh Coalition in New York.