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Prison officials must stop reading mail between condemned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and his lawyer and let him write professionally while he is on death row, a federal appeals court ruled.

Officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections violated Abu-Jamal's rights by punishing him for writing a book and articles while behind bars that were critical of the prison system, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday.

The three-judge panel said the prison must stop enforcing its "business and professional rule," which prohibits inmates from running a business or profession in prison.

The court also ordered officials at State Correctional Institution at Greene to stop going through mail between Abu-Jamal and attorney Jere Krakoff.

Abu-Jamal, a journalist and radio reporter, is on death row for the 1981 slaying of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

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