Inside news - FRFI 269 Apr/May 2019

Chelsea Manning back behind bars

Having been released in 2017 following a commutation from outgoing president Barack Obama, on 8 March 2019 Chelsea Manning was sent back to jail for contempt of court, after refusing to testify to a Grand Jury inquiry into Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Chelsea was originally sentenced to serve 35 years for espionage, for courageously leaking details of US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq to Wikileaks, while she was employed by the US military, along with documents regarding the torture camp at Guantanamo in an illegally occupied part of southern Cuba.

Readers are encouraged to send Chelsea letters and newspapers (cards and books are not permitted where she is held): Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center 2001 Mill Road Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.

FRFI battles censorship yet again

Once again, FRFI finds itself under attack from the prison system. Earlier this year, as reported in the last issue, we were informed by subscribers at Lowdham Grange prison in Nottinghamshire that they had been prevented from receiving the paper. After they and we complained, the prisoners reported back that they had received the last issue without interference. However, just as that problem was solved, we discovered that HMP Manchester (aka Strangeways of 1990 uprising fame) had sent back all the copies of FRFI 268 sent to subscribers there, with slips saying not permitted here by governor’s order’. We have, of course, written to complain and to threaten legal action if this is not resolved.

We have also received a copy of a letter from Prisons Minister Rory Stewart to Manchester MP Debbie Abrahams, regarding Ben Stimson, who is held at Buckley Hall. That prison does not have a general ban on FRFI but the Prison Prevent team has decided it is unsuitable for Ben, who is serving a sentence under the Terrorism Act 2006, following his travelling to Donetsk in 2015 as an act of anti-fascist solidarity. The letter states that FRFI ‘would not be conducive to his rehabilitation at this time’. Again we will be complaining about this and encourage readers to do so too, by writing to the governor of HMP Buckley Hall, Rochdale, Lancs OL12 9DP.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 269 April/May 2019


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