Bulgarian lawmakers OK law banning women from wearing veils
Bulgaria’s Parliament has approved a law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public, citing security reasons and maintaining that “The burqa is more a uniform than a religious symbol.”

Saudi Arabian teen arrested for online videos with American blogger
A male Saudi Arabian teenager, whose real name is unknown, has been arrested in Riyadh for “unethical behavior” over a series of online videos of conversations between him and a female Californian streaming-video star, Christina Crockett. The videos were innocent in nature and featured the teenager and Crockett communicating despite their significant language barriers.

Turkey pulls plug on 20 radio, TV channels in post-coup emergency decree
Turkey has ordered the closure of 20 television and radio stations, including one that airs children’s programs, on charges they spread “terrorist propaganda,” adding to fears that emergency rule is being used to stifle the media.

Chinese news outlets play down killings of 19 in mountain village
Although a suspect was arrested in relation to the murders, little was publicly known on Friday about what happened. The country’s censors have been hard at work taking down posts about the killings on social media that deviate from the terse, five-sentence account released Thursday afternoon by Xinhua, the official news agency.

Police arrest journalist on South Africa college campus
A journalist was arrested at the KZN campus on Friday afternoon while he was taking video footage of police shooting rubber bullets at protesting students. Hundreds of students gathered on the campus quad, violating an edict banning student assemblies on campus, and after a tense standoff, police moved to more aggressive tactics.

Man jailed for calling Myanmar president “crazy” on Facebook
Aung Win Hlaing was convicted under Myanmar’s telecommunications law for calling President Htin Kyaw an “idiot” and “crazy” and sentenced to nine months in jail, his wife said Friday, in the latest use of a junta-era defamation law under the new civilian government.

Google’s Project Shield defends free speech from botnet scourge
When hackers flooded the website of cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs with page-view requests, knocking it offline, Google’s Project Shield stepped in to fend off the DDoS attack for free. The attack shed light on a little-known but important service offered by Google, one designed to protect journalists, news sites, election-monitoring sites and human-rights advocates from cyberattacks.

Janet Napolitano: It’s time to free speech on campus again
The sanctity of free speech in our country is hardly guaranteed—at least not on our college campuses, where freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas should incubate discovery and learning.


PEN’s Free Expression Digest brings you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related stories from around the web. Please send your feedback and suggestions to pen.webintern@gmail.com.