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R. Kelly placed on suicide watch as prison treatment for celebrities - Lawyer

American singer Robert Sylvester Kelly has been put on suicide watch at Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn where he is being detained following his 30 years prison sentence.

Robert Sylvester Kelly

Kelly's lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, however believes that the singer is not suicidal, revealing that he had been apprehensive of being put under suicide watch.

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"The irony of putting someone on suicide watch when they're not suicidal is it actually causes more harm," Bonjean said on Friday.

Bonjean, and the team of attorneys representing Kelly, soon after filed a lawsuit to challenge this move against their client. The lawsuit names as defendants the detention centre where Kelly is being held, the detention centre's officials and the United States government.

The attorneys claim that they called Kelly after his sentencing to check on him and inquire on his status but the staff at the detention centre repeatedly laughed and hung up on them.

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Prosecutors who spoke to prison officials allegedly told Bonjean that the disgraced singer is being given the 'high-profile treatment' accorded famous inmates.

"It's punishment for being high-profile. And it's horrifying frankly. To put someone under suicide watch under those conditions is cruel and unusual when they don't need it," Bonjean said.

In the lawsuit against Metropolitan Detention Centre and the United States government, it is alleged that Metropolitan Detention Centre punishes public figures with suicide watch regardless of whether they are suicidal or not.

"MDC-Brooklyn has a policy of punishing high profile inmates by placing them under the harsh conditions of suicide watch even though they are not suicidal," the lawsuit alleges.

According to Bonjean, Kelly was supposed to send her an email upon arrival in the federal facility but that never came. She also had to wait on prosecutors to request for information on his status before she was informed of what was going on.

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Bonjean is currently seeking for a court order to take the "Ignition" singer out of confinement.

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