NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tells team owners to ensure players stand during the national anthem, hours after the president tweets a call to revoke the league’s tax breaks. More evidence surfaces about how the powerful silence women and how certain media outlets handled—or didn’t—accusations of sexual harassment against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee asks the Attorney General for answers about the government’s rules for using surveillance to investigate reporters covering leaks. In continuing crackdown on media and civil society, Turkey sentences Wall Street Journal journalist to prison, claiming her reporting was spreading terrorist propaganda. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Roger Goodell sends letter to NFL teams, wants players to stand during anthem
Goodell made it clear in a letter to all NFL teams that he wants players to stand during the anthem. He did not provide specifics on how he intends to ensure it, but he wrote that it would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.” This comes hours after President Trump called to revoke the league’s tax breaks.

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories
Multiple sources said that Weinstein frequently bragged about planting items in media outlets about those who spoke against him; these sources feared that they might be similarly targeted. Several pointed to Gutierrez’s case: After she went to the police, negative items discussing her sexual history and impugning her credibility began rapidly appearing in New York gossip pages.

Sen. Wyden asks Sessions for details on leak probes targeting journalists
Sen. Ron Wyden sent a two-page letter to Jeff Sessions seeking information on the Justice Department’s “use of surveillance powers to target journalists and news organizations as part of leak investigations.”

Wall Street Journal reporter convicted in Turkey over ‘terrorist propaganda’
Ayla Albayrak, a Wall Street Journal reporter, has been convicted of producing “terrorist propaganda”—for a WSJ article published in 2015—in Turkey and sentenced to more than two years in prison.

In public forums, the law allows hate speech and expressions of hate—verbal attacks on homosexuals near the site of a funeral of a military veteran, burning a cross on the lawn of an African American couple, calls for the overthrow of the US government by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s all protected under the Constitution.


British Conservative party activist barred from entering Hong Kong
Benedict Rogers, a leading British human rights activist who has been a vocal critic of China’s erosion of Hong Kong’s political freedoms, has been barred from entering the former colony on the eve of a key political summit in Beijing.

German journalist stands trial in Turkey on terror charges
Mesale Tolu, a German citizen with Turkish roots, stands accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda and being a member of a banned left-wing group, the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party. She has denied these accusations.

Ukrainian Security Service Lifts Travel Ban on Two Spanish Journalists
The Ukrainian Security Service has lifted persona non grata status from two Spanish journalists who were denied entry to the country in August. The entry ban was supposed to last until 2020.

Kidnapped Journalist Appeals to Georgian Parliament
“I do not have previous conviction. I have not violated the laws of Georgia during my stay in this country. I have been abducted in Tbilisi and illegally handed over to the officers of Azerbaijani intelligence agencies at Lagodekhi border checkpoint,” Afgan Mukhtarli wrote. He was abducted in May.

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