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Journalist and U.S. citizen Marzieh Hashemi released from custody after completing her testimony before a federal grand jury in Washington, D. C. Gannett, owner of dozens of local and regional newspapers in the U.S., cuts jobs ahead of a rumored sale to Digital First Media. Federal government shutdown, now in its 34th day, threatens upcoming exhibitions in some of the country’s most prominent museums. Australian government seeks ‘transparency and fairness’ from Chinese authorities in the disappearance of author Yang Hengjun. PEN America announces the finalists for the 2019 Literary Awards. (Find out more.) -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Iranian Journalist Marzieh Hashemi Released from U.S. Custody, Completes Testimony to Grand Jury
Marzieh Hashemi, an Iranian television journalist with dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, completed her testimony Wednesday before a federal grand jury in Washington and has been released from U.S. government custody. No further details were immediately available regarding her whereabouts.

Here Are All the Upcoming Art Exhibitions That Are Threatened by the Government Shutdown
Museums have also been feeling the pressure of the government shutdown, as many of the country’s most prominent institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art, have been closed for three weeks. Artnet takes a look at all the exhibitions threatened by the shutdown.

Gannett Lays off Journalists across the Country
At the Indianapolis Star, three journalists were laid off. The Arizona Republic laid off two. There were reports of cuts at the Corpus Christi [Texas] Caller-Times, the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Fort Myers [Florida] News-Press, and USA Today’s travel section. On and on it continued.

Tara Westover among PEN Award Nominees
PEN America announced finalists for everything from translation to science to sports writing. Writers cited included Zadie Smith, Alexander Chee, Jamel Brinkley, and Jane Leavy. Authors and books nominated span the globe from Morocco to Hanoi to rural Idaho. Most of the winners will be announced February 26.


Australia Seeking ‘Transparency and Fairness’ in Mysterious Detention of Writer Yang Hengjun
The reasons for the arrest of Yang Hengjun, a well-known writer and former Chinese official with Australian citizenship, are the subject of urgent inquiries by officials and speculation by foreign policy experts.

Dutch Magazines Cut Ties with Reporter over Suspect Stories
Media in the Netherlands and Belgium have ceased employing a freelance reporter amid allegations that he plagiarized other media and cited sources in his articles who could not be traced.

Acclaimed German Novel Banned by Nazis Gets First English Translation
The Nazis objected to the novel’s inclusion of homoerotic content, and its depiction of an interracial liaison between a black man and a German woman. The book, “At the Edge of the Night,” was placed on their list of “damaging and undesirable writings.”

Turkey’s ‘Climate of Fear’ for Journalists
“Even as [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan grabs global headlines for denouncing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi … journalists in his own country labor under the threat of censorship, dismissal, or arrest.”

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]