Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 09:47 UK

Muslim claim sparks prison review

Female prison officers will be stopped from being present when male inmates are strip-searched, after a Muslim prisoner said he had been degraded.

The inmate told the newspaper Muslim News in March he felt degraded, oppressed and provoked on a daily basis at Whitemoor Prison, Cambridgeshire.

The man said he was forced to strip in front of a female officer, which the Ministry of Justice has admitted.

It said it has reviewed procedures to ensure the incident is not repeated.

Ahmed Versi, editor of Muslim News, said the prisoner who wrote to the newspaper withdrew himself and refused to interact with the staff because he felt degraded.

Mr Versi said: "He said this was one of the many things he wanted to complain about, but this for him was the most degrading.

"I think it's a lack of understanding, but he did try to explain these are sensitivities that he had to consider."

In a statement, the Ministry of Justice said: "In a recent isolated incident at Whitemoor Prison, a female officer observed part of a full search of a Muslim prisoner.

"Following the incident a local review of search procedures was conducted to ensure that the situation would not arise in future."

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