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Confederate statues in Memphis are removed after city council vote, as municipalities around the United States commission statues and memorials dedicated to more inclusive accounts of history. Further evidence emerges of Trump administration’s effort to shift public’s perception on policies by issuing lists of banned words for agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, and the Department for Health and Human Services. Harassment and death threats over controversial social media posts force a professor at Drexel University off campus. –Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Confederate Statues in Memphis Are Removed After City Council Vote
The City Council in Memphis voted yesterday to sell two city parks with Confederate monuments, clearing the way for two statues to be removed before the city commemorates the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The statues were removed that evening.

‘A new vision of who we are’: the inclusive monuments to reinvigorate America
This new public sculptures, monuments, and plaques going up across the United States range from lifelike portraits of millennial rappers to boulders honoring the lives lost in the Orlando massacre. It proves a new vision is under way to commemorate America’s updated values.

Trump administration targets certain words, and the bureaucracy pushes back
The Trump administration is seeking to shift public perception of key policies by changing the way the federal government talks about climate change, scientific evidence, and disadvantaged communities.

Death threats are forcing professors off campus
George Ciccariello-Maher has been teaching his class remotely via video conference after the university put him on administrative leave. He’s not allowed on campus without a police escort. The school says his enforced absence is due to safety concerns raised by the reaction to controversial posts he made on social media.


Murder of Mexico journalist draws international condemnation
The United Nations’ human rights agency said in a statement through its Mexico office that the slaying of Gumaro Perez “confirms a terrible year for freedom of expression in Mexico.”

Cameroon appeals court reduces prison sentence for RFI journalist from 10 to two years
The Yaoundé appeals court acquitted Abba—a reporter for the Hausa-language service at RFI—of “laundering terrorism products”; however, judges upheld the lower court’s ruling for his failure to “denounce” terrorism in connection with his coverage of attacks launched by Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram.

Lebanon TV host court battle highlights growing concerns over free speech
A court battle involving Lebanese talk show host Marcel Ghanem is proving to be the latest example of what free speech activists say is a growing crackdown by the government on public dissent: A judge authorized the use of force to compel Ghanem to appear in court on charges of insulting the ministry of justice, prompting the host’s lawyer to request the judge’s removal.

An Unsually Deadly Year for Women Journalists Around the World, Report Finds
Women journalists face particular risks; for example, they are more likely to experience sexual assault and online harassment than their male colleagues. Often, those who are supposed to protect journalists, such as guards and drivers, can pose the biggest threat to women on the job.

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