Free Expression Daily Digest: Thurs., April 21

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

Protesters in Gambia charged with rioting, inciting violence
Nearly 40 people were charged in Gambia on Wednesday for arranging a small protest last week that called for free speech and electoral reform, the High Court in the capital Banjul said. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Censors, transparency watchdogs spar as Israeli archive goes online
The dispute is rooted in laws requiring online publications to be submitted for military censorship, which means that as the Israel State Archive digitizes its vast trove of documents, papers dealing with national security may undergo new redaction. THE NEW YORK TIMES

China moves to silence a rising online celebrity
A revived push by China to cleanse cyberspace swept up a quickly rising Internet celebrity, highlighting efforts to temper the explosive popularity of online stars. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Fifteen journalists named in criminal investigation of Meydan TV
The Azerbaijani Prosecutor’s Office has named 15 individuals in the criminal investigation launched against Meydan TV, reports lawyer Elchin Sadigov. No one has been officially charged yet, but many journalists have been illegally prevented from leaving the country and some have had their homes searched and equipment has been confiscated without a warrant. MEYDAN TV

Alibaba’s Ma pledges not to interfere in SCMP editorial independence
The new boss of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Jack Ma, has promised not to interfere in editorial decisions, in an apparent bid to assuage concerns about the paper’s independence under his e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. REUTERS

Public outcry after Chinese policeman allegedly assaults TV journalist
The alleged physical assault of a woman television journalist by a police inspector in northern China has sparked a public outcry, mainland media reports. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST