An appellate review of President Trump’s travel ban hinges on First Amendment questions of whether the ban impermissibly targets migrants based on religion, and whether campaign statements can be used as evidence of unlawful intent when judging presidential actions. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies that she sought to stop the travel ban on legal rather than policy grounds. Xie Yang, a human rights lawyer, withdraws claims that he had been tortured and pleaded guilty to charges of subversion and disrupting court proceedings. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Trump travel ban: federal appeals court hears arguments in crucial next stage
The crucial next stage in the legal battle over Donald Trump’s attempt to ban entry to the US from several Muslim-majority countries began on Monday when a federal appeals court in Virginia heard arguments in the case.

Yates on Trump’s travel ban: ‘Arguments have to be based on truth’
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday defended her decision earlier this year not to enforce President Donald Trump’s first ban on travel from several majority-Muslim nations, calling the order “unlawful.”

Trump campaign removes controversial Muslim ban language from website
A press release touting Donald Trump’s controversial plan to ban all Muslim travel into the United States was removed from his campaign website Monday, shortly after White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that he was unaware that the plan was still online.

How ProPublica is learning to do journalism differently in the age of Trump
At ProPublica, our stories often take months, and occasionally longer than that. How could we cover something as fast moving as a new administration? We also tend to stay away from areas other reporters are already covering. If lots of reporters are already digging into something, why would we want to as well? One of our advantages is that we don’t have to be comprehensive. We can and should skip stories where we’re unlikely to distinguish ourselves. But we didn’t do that.

A French Lesson for the American Media
Despite the mundane quality of the Clinton emails, the media covered them as a profound revelation. The tone often suggested a big investigative scoop. But this was no scoop. It was material stolen by a hostile foreign government, and it was only occasionally revealing. It deserved some coverage, but far less.


In Reversal, Chinese Lawyer Confesses, and Rights Groups Denounce His Trial
Before the Chinese human rights lawyer stood trial for subversion, he wrote a letter saying he would confess to such charges only if he was tortured. But on Monday, the lawyer, Xie Yang, appeared at court a drastically altered man. He had become a seemingly contrite actor in a trial intended to discredit China’s struggling dissident lawyers who take up contentious cases and want courts freed of Communist Party control.

New York Times article criticizing Pakistani army censored, replaced with blank space
In an unabashed move that proves Pakistan’s insecurity in dealing with dissent, a newspaper critique of the Pakistan Army in the local edition of the reputed New York Times was brutally censored and replaced with a blank space.

Facebook quietly agrees to help censor posts in Thailand, if governments kick up a fuss
The social giant on Tuesday said that it would consider blocking local content on Facebook in Thailand, on a case-by-case basis, in response to a request by the Thai government to block some 600 local Facebook pages.

Christian Governor in Indonesia Found Guilty of Blasphemy Against Islam
An Indonesian court found the Christian governor of the country’s capital, Jakarta, guilty of blasphemy against Islam on Tuesday, sentencing him to two years in prison in a case widely seen as a test of religious tolerance and free speech.

Wikipedia applies to Turkey’s Constitutional Court over access ban
Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia on May 9 applied to the Turkish Constitutional Court after its appeal against a ruling to block access to the website in Turkey was rejected by a local court.

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