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Presidential press secretary repeatedly defends her credibility to reporters pressing on White House falsehoods. Abuse including death threats targets HuffPost reporter who revealed person behind bigoted Twitter account, but Twitter suspends the reporter. Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran quits Instagram after months of racist and sexist harassment on the social media platform. Boston Review retains Junot Diaz as fiction editor after #MeToo allegations; three editors quit in protest. Fox News apologizes for misrepresenting Philadelphia Eagles players as kneeling during National Anthem—they were actually in a pre-game prayer—during coverage of the team’s dis-invitation to the Trump White House. – Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Sarah Sanders on Inaccurate Statement: ‘I’m an Honest Person’
Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday repeatedly defended her credibility at a briefing with reporters, even as she was pressed on an apparently false statement she gave months ago. Sanders is not the first White House official to struggle with delivering accurate information on behalf of Trump.

A HuffPost Reporter Was Bombarded With Threats. Twitter Suspended Him
HuffPost reporter Luke O’Brien published a story identifying the woman behind @AmyMek, a massively popular pseudonymous Twitter account. O’Brien received dozens of threats via tweet, phone and email in the days after the story published. Twitter decided to suspend O’Brien’s account, but many of the people who sent him threats have not been suspended.

Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran Deletes Instagram Posts After Abuse
Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran, who has suffered months of racist and sexist abuse on social media, has deleted all her posts on Instagram. She experienced a fierce backlash from some fans, who took aim at her ethnicity and appearance. Her supporters are blaming cyberbullying for her Instagram vanishment.

Literary Journal Retains Junot Diaz as Fiction Editor Despite Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
The Boston Review has decided to retain Junot Diaz as fiction editor, a post that the Pulitzer Prize winner has held since 2003. The Boston Review said it doesn’t condone the behavior, specifically sexual misconduct, as described by Diaz’s accusers. Diaz’s supporters have asserted there’s been a rush to judgment.

Fox News Apologizes for Implying Eagles Players were Kneeling in Protest. They were Praying.
Tight end Zach Ertz and his Eagles teammates were shown kneeling in several photos during the Fox News segment, but Ertz said the players were kneeling in prayer, not to raise awareness of social injustice and police brutality issues, as other players have done. The network later apologized for showing the footage.


Moscow Court Sentences Ukrainian Journalist To 12 Years In Prison For Espionage *PEN Case List
A Moscow City Court found Roman Sushchenko guilty of espionage and sentenced him to 12 years in a maximum-security prison. Sushchenko pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial. Ukraine has called repeatedly for the release of Sushchenko and other Ukrainians held in Russia.

Liberia: President Weah Submits Bill to Repeal Laws against Free Speech to Legislature
President George Manneh Weah has resubmitted to the National Legislature a Bill with modifications, to repeal some sections of the Penal Law of Liberia in an effort to decriminalize free speech and improve the media environment.

Turkish Court Orders Conditional Release of Jailed Cartoonist
A Turkish court ordered the conditional release of Nuri Kurtcebe, one of Turkey’s most prominent cartoonists, a day after he was jailed to serve a 14-month sentence for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Kutcebe is only the latest artist in Turkey jailed for “insulting” the president in recent months.

Pakistani Journalist Critic of Military Freed after Abduction
Gul Bukhari, a Pakistani journalist and rights activist who openly criticized the military and its alleged meddling in politics was freed early on Wednesday, several hours after being abducted. Media organizations have complained of growing censorship by the military establishment in the run-up to the July election.

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