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Dehumanization rhetoric ramps up as President Trump and his allies use words like “infest” to describe people who seek to immigrate. Homeland Security Secretary who defended Trump policy separating children from their families after Mexican border crossings goes to Washington Mexican restaurant and is greeted by protesters shouting “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.” U.S. leaves UN Human Rights Council; See PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel’s statement here. Fox Entertainment producers and directors take issue with Fox News’ promotion of Trump. News organizations face handling of government handouts from immigrant detention centers where free media access is limited. New York Times takes heat for acquiescing to White House and not playing audio of Trump advisor Stephen Miller interview. –Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Trump Ramps Up Rhetoric: Democrats Want ‘Illegal Immigrants’ to ‘Infest our Country’
Trump accused Democrats of wanting migrants to “infest our country”. The President’s entrenchment amid a loud uproar comes amid a developing humanitarian—and political—crisis on the U.S.’ border with Mexico, where at least 2,000 children have been separated from their parents as a result of the administration’s policy.

Protesters Confront Kirstjen Nielsen at Mexican Restaurant: ‘Shame!’
Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, was dining at a Mexican restaurant in D.C. when protestors shouted: “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.” Ms. Nielsen is responsible for carrying out President Trump’s immigration policy.

US leaving UN Human Rights Council — ‘A Cesspool of Political Bias’
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council Tuesday, accusing the body of bias against US ally Israel and a failure to hold human rights abusers accountable. Haley said the United States will continue to promote human rights outside of the council and would consider rejoining it in the future if reforms are made.

Propaganda or News: Should Media Publish Government’s Child-Detention Photos?
All of the photographs depicting life inside the child-detention facilities have been supplied by the government itself. There’s been no independent documentation; federal officials, citing the children’s privacy, have barred journalists from taking photographs or video when they’ve been permitted inside.

Top Fox TV Producers Criticize Fox News Over Immigration Commentary
Two of 21st Century Fox’s top television producers spoke out against Fox News’s commentary on the Trump administration policy separating children from their parents at the border, saying they are embarrassed to work at the company that owns the cable news channel.

NYT Under Fire For Spiking a Stephen Miller Interview from its Podcast
NYT podcast, The Daily, focused on the GOP’s controversial new policy of separating migrant families, in which Reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis planned to use an audio clip from an interview she conducted with Stephen Miller. She was unable to use the clip, as the White House was not “comfortable with us using that audio.”


Free Speech Advocates Sound Alarm over EU Copyright Proposal
The European Parliament is set to address what some see as a “value gap” between copyright holders and online platforms. The proposal would require platforms to pay a fee when quoting news snippets and to establish content filters that would prevent users from posting copyrighted material. Critics call it censorship.

Concern Over Court Ruling that Puts Privacy above Press Freedom
The Madras High Court in India recently ruled that the right to privacy trumps the right to freedom of expression of the media. The media has always stressed that its right to report in the public interest stands above other rights such as the right to privacy.

Activists march to Beijing office Demanding China release cyber-activist Huang Qi
League of Social Democrats (LSD) members marched to the China Liaison Office in Sai Wan on Wednesday, calling for the release of Chinese cyber-activist Huang Qi. Huang Qi is the founder of 64 Tianwang—a website that documents human rights violations in China and is blocked on the mainland.

Critics Say el-Sissi’s Media Law Shuts Down Speech in Egypt
Activists and journalists are concerned a week after Egypt’s parliament passed a law that allows President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi’s government to punish press outlets and social media users for publishing “false information.” Journalists in Egypt have signed a statement saying that the law undermines “freedom of opinion and expression” and criminalizes “opinion holders.”

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