The US Army refused to allow clippings of PinkNews articles to be sent to transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Private Manning, who announced her transition to female in 2013, is currently imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth military prison after leaking details of classified government documents concerning alleged war crimes and rights abuses via WikiLeaks.
PinkNews has regularly reported on Manning, who has sued the US Army for her right to transition behind bars – but Manning herself has had her access to a PinkNews clipping restricted.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that Manning had been sent clippings of news coverage via the prison postal service, including a PinkNews report on a podcast released via Amnesty International which covers Manning’s story.
The package also included clippings from Vice, The Independent, BoingBoing, Fight for the Future, ACLU, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
However, the prison did not allow Manning to receive the postal material. EFF notes that it is unclear whether this is due to regulations surrounding copyrighted material, or whether it was due to a page limit.
The organisation notes: “The Army has yet to respond to EFF’s letter that voiced our concerns about the policy, but Manning has received a rejection to her appeal.
“It remains unclear whether the information was blocked solely because the packets each contained more than the five-page limit on printouts or if copyright also played a role. It’s unfortunate that the initial withholding notice was not clear on that point.
“EFF remains concerned about the overly restrictive limits on content from the Internet provided to Manning and other prisoners. “
After concerns were raised, one packet has been delivered to Manning.
The EFF continues: “Prisons must respect the rights of inmates to access information from the Internet, especially if that information relates to the rights of inmates.
“We urge USDB to review these mail policies and to respond without delay to EFF’s letter.”