Free Expression Daily Digest: Thurs., April 28

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

Book debate raises questions of self-censorship by foreign groups in China
After The American Bar Association rejected a potentially incendiary book, the dispute has raised questions as to whether foreign nongovernmental organizations working in China engage in self-censorship. That is an issue that will become more acute if China passes a proposed law putting more than 7,000 such foreign groups under police oversight. The law could be passed this week. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Tehran court jails three Iranian journalists for spreading propaganda
Three journalists in Iran have been given lengthy prison sentences as the country’s hardline judiciary tightens its grip on press freedom in a move seen as undercutting the moderate president, Hassan Rouhani.

What Vietnam’s new media laws may mean for its press freedom
On April 5 the legislative body passed an updated law on the press. The bill expanded the list of prohibited acts for the press from four to more than a dozen. It also, however, included some protections for members of the fourth estate. FORBES

Press freedom weakened around the world in 2015, report says
Press freedom suffered throughout the world in 2015, declining to its weakest level in 12 years because of attacks and intimidation by political, criminal and militant forces that sought to mute or control the news media, a prominent democracy advocacy group said in an annual report published Wednesday.

Supreme Court reinforces free-speech protections for public employees
The Supreme Court reinforced free-speech protections for public employees Tuesday, ruling that a Paterson, N.J., police officer can sue after being demoted when city officials learned he carried a campaign sign for the mayor’s political opponent.

Maalik movie: What the Pakistan government ban tells us
The Pakistani government has taken the rare step of directly banning a film, dividing public debate and sparking cries of censorship. BBC NEWS