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3. Rights of persons on remand

(i) Are prisoners (people on remand/convicted persons) required to have their hair cut?


There is no specific requirement stipulated by the Prison Rules.


Under rule 199 of Prison Rules, the hair of every prisoner awaiting trial (i.e. people on remand) may be cut but not in such a manner as may alter his appearance.


Under rule 34 of Prison Rules, every convicted prisoner shall obey such directions as regards washing, bathing, shaving and hair cutting as may from time to time be prescribed.


It is worth noticing that, before the Court of Final Appeal judgement of Leung Kwok Hung v Commissioner of Correctional Services [2020] HKCFA 37, Correctional Services Department’s general internal practice was male prisoners were required to have their hair cut, but save for exceptions, a female prisoner’s hair shall not be cut shorter than the style on admission without her consent.


After the Court of Final ruled that there has been discrimination on the basis of sex in the Correctional Services Department’s internal requirement, Correctional Services Department announced their new practice in February 2021 that all convicted prisoners irrespective of gender, shall maintain an appropriate hairstyle as directed. If a convicted prisoner does not wish to have his/her hair cut for personal reasons, he/she may make a request supported by justifications for an individual assessment. According to various news reports, the current practice appears to be that both male and female convicted prisoners are now required to have their hair cut unless specific request was made and approved.


(ii) Are people who are on remand required to undergo rectal exams search of their external orifices, including rectum, nostrils and ears?


Every prisoner (i.e. including people on remand) shall be searched on admission and at such times subsequently as the Superintendent or other officer in charge may direct (for example, after attending a court hearing). An authorized officer of same sex may, for the said purpose, search the rectum, nostrils, ears and any other external orifice of a prisoner.