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DARE To Be Informed

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


Trump Allegedly Urged Comey To Consider Jailing Journalists
Frustrated by leaks to the news media, President Donald Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to “consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information,” according to the New York Times. The closed-door meeting was revealed in the Times’ bombshell report Tuesday that Trump asked Comey to end the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn.

Violence Breaks Out During Protest At Turkish Embassy In Washington, D.C.
On the same day that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited President Trump at the White House, protesters were gathered at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. During Tuesday’s demonstrations, an altercation broke out and nine people were injured, two seriously, and two arrests were made.

GOP Congressman Frelinghuysen Targets Activist in Letter to Her Employer
The most powerful congressman in New Jersey, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, wrote a fundraising letter in March to a board member of a local bank, warning him that a member of an activist group opposing the Republican worked at his bank.

Journalist Says FCC Security ‘Manhandled’ Him After Asking Questions
John Donnelly, a reporter for CQ Roll Call, was thrown out of the scheduled press conference after he tried to ask commissioners questions when they were not behind the podium, the statement said.


Separate attacks kill renowned Mexican reporter, wound local magazine executive
A Mexican reporter renowned for coverage of organized crime was killed in the lawless state of Sinaloa and gunmen attacked an executive of a small weekly magazine on Monday, as authorities struggle to contain renewed bloodshed between drug cartels. He was the fifth reporter killed since March, making Mexico one of the deadliest countries for journalism.

Venezuela Tries Protesters in Military Court ‘Like We Are in a War’
President Nicolás Maduro, beleaguered by a second month of protests against him, has prosecuted political rivals under terrorism laws and expanded his powers by emergency decrees. Now, the president is turning to military courts to tighten his grip further, prosecuting demonstrators and other civilians in tribunals that the government closely controls.

Ukraine Bans Russian Social Media Networks
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has signed a National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decree from April 28, 2017, which will block access to Russian social media sites “VKontakte” and “Odnoklassniki”. All “Yandex” services have also been banned, as well as the business management software, 1C.

Bangladesh to watch journalists traveling abroad
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed all the foreign missions to monitor the activities of the Bangladeshi journalists traveling abroad and report back to Dhaka. The External Publicity Wing of the foreign ministry also sent the instruction to media on Wednesday.

Deeper Analysis

The Autocrat’s Language
Now words did not mean their opposite anymore. They just meant nothing. The phrase “dictatorship of the law” is so incoherent as to render both “dictatorship” and “law” meaningless. Donald Trump has an instinct for doing both of these kinds of violence to language. He is particularly adept at taking words and phrases that deal with power relationships and turning them into their opposite.

I’m a foreign reporter frozen out by Theresa May. She is behaving like Trump
Even at the early stages, Trump’s relationship with what he terms “the lying media” was toxic. Still, I hung in there, despite the menacing glares and the threat of ejection. A reporter from the New York Times told me: “Incredible. You’re lucky to be based in Europe, where something like that would be impossible.” Impossible? Perhaps not.


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