DARE: “Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.”
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Read more about PEN America’s First Amendment suit against President Trump from CEO Suzanne Nossel in Politico and this analysis in The Washington Post. CBS reporter says Secret Service agent blocked his phone as he attempted to ask White House senior advisor Jared Kushner a question. As gruesome details emerge about the apparent murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, President Trump says the Saudi Arabian leadership is being judged unfairly. Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of contempt of court for flouting a federal judge’s order in his campaign against immigration but pardoned by the president, files libel suit against The New York Times and a member of its editorial board. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.
“President Trump’s frequent threats and hostile acts directed toward journalists and the media are not only offensive and unbecoming of a democratic leader; they are also illegal. Although the president can launch verbal tirades against the press, he cannot use the powers of his office to suppress or punish speech he doesn’t like.”
Suing Trump for Endangering the First Amendment
“The complaint says that it’s not going after Trump for his “enemy of the people” sort of rhetoric: “These ongoing verbal attacks on the press and others exercising their own First Amendment rights, while troubling and anti-democratic, are not the basis upon which Plaintiff PEN America seeks relief.”
Secret Service Blocks CBS Reporter from Asking Jared Kushner about Saudi Journalist
A video of the incident shows a Secret Service agent blocking correspondent Errol Barnett from trying to question White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the agent tells him “I don’t give a damn who you are, there’s a time and a place.”
Trump Jumps to the Defense of Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi Case
In his strongest language to date about Jamal Khashoggi, Trump said in an interview: “Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent.” Amid mounting international outrage, the United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said that the Saudi authorities should reveal all they know.
NEW YORK TIMES
Arpaio Files Libel Suit against New York Times
Arpaio is seeking is seeking $147.5 million in damages over a Times op-ed by Michelle Cottle titled “Well, at Least Sheriff Joe Isn’t Going to Congress.” In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Arpaio says the piece contains “several false, defamatory factual assertions.”
Dissident Vietnamese Blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’ Released *PEN Case List
Authorities in Vietnam have released dissident blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known by the pseudonym “Mother Mushroom”. She is an outspoken critic of Vietnam’s one-party state and gained notoriety with her writing about the environment, politics, and deaths in police custody.
When Will Egypt Release Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid? *PEN Case List
Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan, was detained after photographing the 2013 dispersal of a protest, during which Egyptian security forces killed at least 817 people. Despite hopes that he would be freed, Shawkan’s ordeal is yet to come to an end and there has been no public explanation as to why he remains in jail.
A Year after Her Murder, Where Is the Justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia?
“One year on, justice for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia remains elusive. The case has stalled and there are major concerns about the independence, impartiality, and effectiveness of the Maltese authorities’ investigation. Despite her reporting on corruption at the highest levels of government, no politician has been questioned.”
Bangladesh Drafts New Legislation Seen Targeting Press Freedom
Journalists fear a new draft bill that would punish media outlets if they publish or broadcast content deemed to be against the “public interest” could further stifle press freedom. The “Broadcast Law 2018” comes just days after media outlets called for revisions to a new digital security law that allows for arrests without a warrant.
Why the World Should Be Alarmed at Hong Kong’s Expulsion of a Foreign Journalist
“Earlier this month, the Financial Times’ Asia news editor Victor Mallet was denied a renewal of his Hong Kong work visa without any explanation. The incident tarnishes Hong Kong’s free expression record, and reflects China’s tactics against foreign journalists who write politically sensitive stories that the government deems critical.”
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