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United States added to list of top five most dangerous countries for journalists (Find out more about our work defending press freedom in the U.S. here, and our First Amendment lawsuit here.) Rep. Ilhan Omar reports an increase in online death threats after the President tweeted Friday about a speech she gave last month; some of the threats directly mentioned his tweet. Supreme Court hears trademark case and considers whether offensive trademarks are protected by the First Amendment. -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

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


United States Added to List of Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists for First Time
Around the world, at least 63 professional journalists were killed doing their jobs in 2018, a 15% increase over last year, according to Reporters Without Borders. The shooting deaths of five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, in June propelled the United States into the ranks of the most dangerous countries for the first time.

Rep. Ilhan Omar Says She Has Experienced Increase in Death Threats
“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life—many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video,” Omar said in a statement. Omar argued that Trump is encouraging right-wing extremist violence, a charge White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied.

Free Speech Row as US TV channel forces removal of tweets
Starz, the network that airs shows including American Gods, has forced Twitter to remove tweets linking to a news story about pirated content—including tweets from free speech campaigners complaining that the social network was removing other people’s tweets.

Opinion: How We Can Teach Gen Z A Better Kind of Media Literacy *Find out more about solutions to the spread and normalization of fraudulent news here
“Since the 2016 election, a host of states have mandated courses in media literacy. Many of these will rely on approaches that were state-of-the-art when we connected to the Internet using a dial-up modem, such as “Five Criteria for Web Evaluation,” published in 1998. What if the answer isn’t more media literacy, but a different kind of media literacy?”


Activist Artist Arrested on Eve of Havana Biennial *Find out more about artistic freedom in Cuba here
As the Havana Biennial opened today, activist artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who was involved in various actions against censorship in Cuba, was arrested outside his home in Havana for the second time in one week. Meanwhile, the Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco was denied entry to Cuba.

“The People’s Messengers”: Myanmar’s Satirical Poets Target Censorship
In Yangon, students chant “Censorship is a shame!” at a thangyat troupe’s rehearsal. The centuries-old poetic and musical custom that gives free rein to satirize rulers and society during New Year celebrations has sparked controversy this year, with troupes saying the government forced them to submit lyrics to a censor panel.

Controversial Anti-Terrorism Law Comes into Force in the UK
The bill criminalizes viewing terrorist-linked material online, and while exemptions have been made for media professionals and researchers, it would be an offense for a journalist not to answer questions or hand over materials, with no protection for confidential sources.

Journalist Maria Ressa Arrested at Manila Airport
Ressa, CEO of Rappler, was taken in to custody and later charged with violating laws related to securities fraud. Rights groups have long alleged that Ressa is being targeted as part of a campaign to silence and intimidate Rappler, which has reported extensively on Duterte’s war on drugs that has killed thousands.

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