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Julian Assange’s lawyers argue he is too ill to appear in court. (See PEN America’s statement on the indictment against Assange.) The Supreme Court rules against an Alaska man who argued that police arrested him as retaliation for his speech. Twitter is conducting internal research to better understand how white supremacists use the site. In two recent lawsuits, universities have demanded that plaintiffs in sexual assault lawsuits publicly reveal their identities. Tenants in New York City are fighting their landlord’s efforts to install facial recognition cameras. Twenty-five members of Congress call on the Secretary of State to push the Vietnamese government to uphold free expression in Vietnam. -James Tager, Deputy Director of Free Expression Policy and Research

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


Julian Assange ‘Too Ill’ to Appear for Court Hearing, Says Lawyer
The WikiLeaks founder is fighting against being extradited to the United States over charges related to leaking U.S. government secrets. He had been due to appear at his case management hearing via video link from Belmarsh Prison, but his lawyer said he was “not very well.”

Supreme Court Rules against Alaska Man in Free Speech Case
The Supreme Court ruled against an Alaska resident in a case that gives law enforcement officers significant protection from people who want to sue and claim they were arrested in retaliation for something they said or wrote.

Twitter Has Started Researching Whether White Supremacists Belong on Twitter
Twitter is conducting in-house research to better understand how white nationalists and supremacists use the platform. The company is trying to decide, in part, whether white supremacists should be banned from the site or should be allowed to stay on the platform so their views can be debated by others, a Twitter executive said.

Colleges Challenge a Common Protection in Sexual Assault Lawsuits: Anonymity
For years, students have filed sexual assault complaints under pseudonyms, and universities have generally accepted the practice. But in two recent lawsuits the schools have demanded that students publicly reveal their identities, going against longstanding legal practice intended to protect plaintiffs in sensitive disputes.

New York Tenants Fight as Landlords Embrace Facial Recognition Cameras
Tenants in a New York City apartment complex are fighting their landlord’s effort to install a facial recognition system to access parts of the buildings, calling it an affront to their privacy rights. More than 130 tenants have filed a formal complaint with the state seeking to block the application.


AP Regrets Yemeni Pulitzer Winner Did Not Receive Visa
The Associated Press expressed disappointment that its Yemeni reporter, Maad al-Zikry, was unable to attend the ceremony to collect his Pulitzer Prize because he was not granted a U.S. visa. He was interviewed for the visa earlier this month, but never received a response.

U.S. Lawmakers Urge Greater Push for Vietnam Press Freedoms
U.S. lawmakers called in a letter for a stronger push by the United States to demand that Vietnam uphold the right to freedom of expression in the wake of the jailing of bloggers and activists in the one-party communist state.

Veteran Turkish Journalist Gursel Freed on Probation
One of Turkey’s best-known opposition journalists, Kadri Gursel, was sent back to prison but then released on probation Wednesday after an appeals court upheld his sentence for “helping terror groups,” his lawyer said.

Chinese Activists Detained Ahead of 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Crackdown
Chinese authorities have detained several activists ahead of the politically explosive 30th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing, rights groups said. Discussions of the 1989 Tiananmen protests and its military suppression are taboo in China, and authorities have rounded up or warned activists, lawyers, and journalists ahead of the anniversary each year.

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