The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
16 October 1986, the following members being present:

                      MM. C. A. NØRGAARD, President
                          J. A. FROWEIN
                          E. BUSUTTIL
                          G. JÖRUNDSSON
                          G. TENEKIDES
                          S. TRECHSEL
                          B. KIERNAN
                          A. S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                          A. WEITZEL
                          J. C. SOYER
                          H. G. SCHERMERS
                          H. DANELIUS
                          G. BATLINER
                          H. VANDENBERGHE
                      Mrs G. H. THUNE
                      Sir Basil HALL
                      Mr. F. MARTINEZ

                      Mr. H. C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

Having regard to Article 25 (art. 25) of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

Having regard to the application introduced on 22 August 1985 by
M. R. against the Netherlands and registered on 26 August 1985
under file No. 11720/85;

Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
Procedure of the Commission;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:


The facts of the case as they have been submitted by the applicant may
be summarised as follows.

The applicant is a Dutch citizen, born in 1964 and resident at
Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

In the proceedings before the Commission he is represented by
Mr. E. Hummels, a lawyer practising at Utrecht.

It appears that on 15 January 1985 certain newspapers, periodicals and
books were brought to the prison of Utrecht for the applicant, who was
detained there at the time.  The newspapers and periodicals were not,
however, given to the applicant but stored on the basis of a prison
order of 1 January 1985 which provided that newspapers and periodicals
were exclusively to be obtained either directly from the publishers or
from the prison shop.

This prison order was based on Section 55 of the General Prison Rules
which, in turn, are based on the Prison Act (Beginselenwet
Gevangeniswezen)(Huishoudelijk Reglement Huizen van Bewaring).

The applicant, thereupon, appealed to the Complaints Commission of the
Supervisory Committee of Utrecht prison (Beklag- commissie van de
Commissie van Toezicht), whilst invoking, inter alia, Article 10
(art. 10) of the Convention.

On 18 March 1985, the Complaints Commission rejected the applicant's
complaint in so far as it related to the newspapers and periodicals,
but declared the complaint concerning the applicant's books
well-founded.  The Complaints Commission considered, inter alia, that
the interference which the applicant's rights under Article 10
(art. 10) of the Convention was justified since a prisoner could also
receive information from radio and television.  In addition, the
measure was aimed at preventing contraband being smuggled into prison,
which was a major priority aim.  The financial position of the
applicant only had subsidiary importance in this respect.

The applicant then appealed against this decision to the Appeals
Commission of the Central Advisory Council for Prisons, Psychopathic
Care and Probation (Beroepscommissie van de Centrale Raad van Advies
voor het gevangeniswezen, de psychopatenzorg en de reclassering).

However, on 17 June 1985, the Appeals Commission rejected the
applicant's appeal, since the interference with the applicant's rights
under Article 10 (art. 10) of the Convention was considered to be
justified under the second paragraph of that provision for maintaining
order in prison.  The Appeals Commission was satisfied that a more
liberal policy would lead to an influx of goods which was difficult to
control.  Moreover, it considered that the applicant could still
exercise his rights by obtaining the information required from the
publishers or the prison shop.


The applicant complains that his right to receive information was made
illusory by the directors of Utrecht prison.  He claims that he does
not have the means to order the desired information from the
publishers, and that the prison shop only offers a limited selection.
The applicant invokes Article 10 (art. 10) of the Convention.


The applicant has complained that his right to receive information was
violated contrary to Article 10 (art. 10) of the Convention which

"1.      Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right
shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and
regardless of frontiers.  This Article shall not prevent States from
requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema

2.      The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it
duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities,
conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are
necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national
security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention
of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the
protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the
disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining
the authority and impartiality of the judiciary."

The Commission is of the opinion that the refusal by the prison
authorities to forward certain newspapers and periodicals to the
applicant must be considered as an interference with the latter's
right to receive information under Article 10 (art. 10) of the

It remains to be examined whether this interference was justified
under para. 2 (art. 10-2) of that provision.

The Commission notes that the contested measure was taken in
conformity with a prison order, which was in itself based on the
Prison Rules.  The interference was thus prescribed by law.  Moreover,
the Commission accepts the reasons given for the interference by the
Appeals Commission in its decision of 17 June 1985, and is satisfied
that the measure was necessary for the prevention of disorder in
prison.  The Commission has also had regard to the alternative ways in
which the applicant could obtain the required information, and finds
that the measure complained of was not disproportionate to the aim
sought to be realised.

Consequently, the Commission finds that the interference was justified
under Article 10 para. 2 10-2) of the Convention.

It follows that the application must be rejected as being manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (art. 27-2) of
the Convention.

For these reasons, the Commission


Secretary to the Commission           President of the Commission

(H.C. KRÜGER)                         (C.A. NØRGAARD)