Prison chiefs have been criticised for censoring convicts' newspapers in an attempt to stop them betting on soccer. From Saturday, the Correctional Services Department (CSD) will delete from papers all information relating to odds on matches. 'We cannot tolerate [soccer betting] just as we cannot tolerate betting on horse racing in prison,' a department spokesman said. The racing sections of newspapers were banned in 1995 despite a legal challenge by inmates to a Court of Appeal ruling. The court had said prison rules gave the CSD commissioner the power to remove the racing section to curb illegal gambling. The concern group Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor said yesterday the department should prove soccer gambling was a serious problem before implementing the ban. 'We are talking about the deprivation of information to people, which is a very important issue,' said Law Yuk-kai, director of the group. Mr Law agreed gambling should be banned in jails and that there should not be absolute freedom, but he questioned whether the newspaper censorship was necessary. 'Is there really a serious soccer gambling problem in prisons? Even if it is serious, the department should show sufficient evidence to the public.' The CSD said it did have information proving soccer gambling was a problem. Only information relating to odds would be censored.