Read below how we found out:
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France London SW1H 9AJ
9 October 2020
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request – 200924023
Thank you for your request dated 24 September in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
Dear Ms Louis, dear Mr Davis
We are sending you a Freedom of information request: As we have learned from most reliable reports, Mr Julian Assange is x-rayed EVERY DAY under your supervision. You might be aware of the health risks posed by huge amounts of radiation. Please inform us as detailed as possible on which kind of technology is used for the daily exposure of Mr Assange to this unnecessary risk.
1. In which year was your x-ray machine produced?
2. Which manufacturer produced your x-ray machine?
3. When was its last maintenance?
4. Is it a portable device?
5. What is the radiation amount (as per mSv) which Mr Assange is exposed to every day?
Your request has been handled under the FOIA. I can confirm that the MoJ holds the information in relation to questions 1-4, that you have requested and I have provided it below.
1. I must clarify that the equipment installed in HMP Belmarsh is a full body scanner. It is a new piece of equipment that was installed on 10 September 2020.
2. The manufacturer of the body scanner machine is Adani Systems Inc.
3. As this is a new machine, it has therefore not yet received a service.
4. No, the body scanner is not a portable device.
5. I can neither confirm nor deny if the MoJ holds the information that you have requested.
Under section 40(5B)(a)(i) of the FOIA we are not obliged to confirm or deny whether we hold information, if to do so would contravene any of the data protection principles set out in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. . 2 FOI is a public disclosure regime, not a private regime. This means that any information disclosed under the FOIA by definition becomes available to the wider public. If any information were held, confirming this would be to the world at large. This would constitute the personal data of that individual. To disclose this fact would breach the General Data Protection Regulation and/or the Data Protection Act 2018 principles set out above The fact section 40(5) has been cited, should not be taken as an indication that the information you have requested is held or is not held by the MoJ.
This is an absolute exemption and does not require a public interest test. However, outside of the FOIA, I can confirm that each full body scan of an individual would generate 6 Micro Sieverts (µSv). The introduction of body scanners within prisons forms part of the Government’s investment to transform the prison estate and boost prison security as part of a crackdown on crime behind bars, announced in August 2019.
You can find out further information on this by visiting the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/100-millioncrackdown-on-crime-in-prison. The use of x-ray body scanners in prisons is governed by the Use of X-Ray Body Scanners (Adult Male Prisons) Policy Framework, which provides end to end instruction and guidance on the procurement, installation and use of x-ray body scanners in adult male prisons to detect if prisoners are attempting to conceal contraband internally and sets out the minimum mandatory requirements for a prison to be compliant with legislation and HMPPS requirements for practice in prisons. If you would like any further information, you can view a copy of the policy following the link I have provided.
Appeal Rights If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to request an internal review by responding in writing to one of the addresses below within two months of the date of this response.
Disclosure Team, Ministry of Justice
You do have the right to ask the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint. However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning their investigation. Yours sincerely S Taylor Business Administrator Long Term and High Security Prisons Group.