Censorship of FRFI

Since we began producing FRFI in 1979, the paper has always had a loyal readership behind bars. In order to ensure our prison subscribers continue to receive FRFI, we have constantly had to fight against censorship by the authorities. In the recent period we have had to write letters of complaint to Littlehey, Buckley Hall and Garth prisons, complaining about their interference with our publication.

One prisoner had gone through the formal complaints system before contacting us. Initially he received a nonsensical response to the effect that our anti-racist publication was ‘inciting Racism, communist, which is seen as propaganda’. He has now received a more coherent but equally worrying reply stating that ‘the articles were very controversial regarding the current issues in Israel/Gaza and were not deemed appropriate’.

FRFI is legally published and distributed. Nothing in the paper provides grounds for it to be withdrawn because of ‘the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals’ or any of the other reasons set out in Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. ‘Controversial’ or ‘inappropriate’ are not sufficient grounds for such interference.