PEN America delegation provides a briefing to the U.S. Helsinki Commission on the case of PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award designee Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian filmmaker sentenced to 20 years in a Siberian prison in an effort to silence his voice of protest against the Russian annexation of his native Crimea. Students at the California Statue University at Stanislaus are urging their administration to act against a fellow student whose white supremacist views and attack on a protester at Berkeley they say make them fearful on their own campus. U.S. government hotline opened by the Trump administration to collect citizen reports of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants gets trolled instead with accounts of space aliens.
-Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


A white supremacist at Berkeley is accused of punching a protester
Nathan Damigo, a California State University at Stanislaus student who heads the all-white group Identity Evropa, was reportedly seen in a video punching a woman in the face during volatile April 15 demonstrations sweeping through Berkeley.

Trump critics troll his ‘criminal alien’ crime hotline with reports of UFOs and aliens
The Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement, or VOICE, office opened Wednesday to track crimes committed by immigrants – legal or undocumented – to the United States. It didn’t take long for non-fans of President Donald Trump to come up with ways to register their disapproval of the whole idea.

GOP Lawmakers Propose New Free Speech Rules For University of Wisconsin System Schools
The proposed legislation would set new rules for free speech and expression on University of Wisconsin System campuses. That includes penalties for people who disrupt free expression on campus by engaging in “violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, obscene, unreasonably loud or other disorderly conduct.”

There was no Ann Coulter speech. But protesters converged on Berkeley.
Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of California at Berkeley was canceled. But the debate and hostility that were unleashed by the controversy over the conservative commentator’s planned event continued here Thursday.

‘Anonymous’ Associate and Journalist Barrett Brown Arrested Again for Speaking to the Media
Barrett was sentenced to five years and three months in prison in 2015 for accessory after the fact, obstruction of justice, and threatening an FBI agent. He was also ordered to pay $900,000 in fines and restitution. Brown was released to a half-way house in November 2016, where he lived with five other convicts until Thursday.


Police raid office of Kremlin critic Khodorkovsky ahead of protests
Russian police on Thursday searched the Moscow offices of a pro-democracy movement founded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which is calling for big anti-government protests on Saturday, activists said.

New Zealand bans under-18s from watching 13 Reasons Why without adult
The New Zealand classifications body has created a new category of censorship for controversial Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, after complaints from mental health bodies that it glorified suicide and could prompt copycats.

Federal police admit to accessing journalist’s metadata without a warrant
Australian federal police have admitted an officer unlawfully accessed a journalist’s call records held under the government’s controversial metadata retention regime. But police have still not told the journalist about the breach owing to the sensitivity of an ongoing investigation.

Media freedom in Africa ‘not great’
Media watchdogs are voicing concern about curbs on press freedom. Deutsche Welle looks at the media in Africa where restrictions range from subtle forms of censorship to imprisonment for journalists just doing their jobs.

No time for apathy on press freedom
Canada is now ranked No. 22 in the world for press freedom, a drop of four places from the 2016 rankings when we fell 10 places. That’s a distressing 14-place plunge in two years, and more significantly, means Canada is no longer in the Top 20 in the world for press freedom.

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