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Transgender British comic moved from Canadian men's to women's prison

Feb. 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM  |  Updated Feb. 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM   |   Comments

MILTON, Ontario, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Avery Edison, a transgender woman held in a men's jail for visa concerns, was moved to a women's facility after an online protest, a Canadian official said.

The general duties manager at the Maplehurst Correctional Facility for men confirmed Edison, 25, was in good health and transferred to the Vanier Center for Women in Milton, Ontario, Tuesday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Edison is a British citizen and stand-up comic who stayed in Canada last year after her student visa expired. She said she went to Toronto Monday to visit her partner and speak with lawyers about her visa when she was detained at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Edison commented on her experience on her Twitter page, telling followers she "needed to be assessed by a nurse before placed in male or female cell."

Canadian law states a person's genitals determines the prison facility for detention, the CBC said.

Edison and her partner, who had been working to get Edison transferred, said authorities recognized the possibility of violence existed at the men's facility, CBC said. Edison's partner said the comic was separated from the general population at Maplehurst, where she spent the night.

Friends, family and others began a Twitter campaign to demand that Edison be transferred to a woman's facility, the CBC said.

Her partner, identified as RahRah on Edison's Twitter page, thanked all who protested Edison's detention in the men's facility.

"Just spoke with Avery and confirmed she has been moved," RahRah posted Tuesday night.

"[Great] thanks to the friendly Internet strangers who have been re-tweeting this horrible situation into a thing the media cares about," read another tweet.

"Finally, thanks to all journalists who have been covering this honestly and respectfully -- we're overwhelmed with gratitude," another post read.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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