Free Expression Daily Digest: Thurs., April 7

PEN’s Free Expression Digest brings you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related stories from around the web. Subscribe here. *This mailing list is currently in BETA as we work out the kinks. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

China ramps up Panama Papers censorship after leaders’ relatives named
Chinese censors have stepped up their censorship of websites, ordering all content related to the Panama Papers to be scrubbed as new revelations emerged of how relatives of some of the country’s top leaders had used secretive offshore companies to store their wealth. THE GUARDIAN

Student activist hacked, shot to death in Bangladesh
Three motorcycle-riding assailants hacked and shot a student activist to death as he was walking with a friend in Bangladesh’s capital, police said Thursday. This follows a string of similar attacks last year, when at least five secular bloggers and publishers were killed, allegedly by radical Islamists. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

German prosecutors probe comic’s poem about Turkey president
German prosecutors have to decide whether a TV comedian’s poem about the Turkish president was mere satire, or a punishable offense. If convicted of insulting a foreign head of state, Comedian Jan Boehmermann could face up to three years in prison. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. adds China’s internet controls to list of trade barriers
United States trade officials have for the first time added China’s system of Internet filters and blocks, broadly known as the Great Firewall, to an annual list of trade impediments. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Reddit steps up anti-harassment measures with new blocking tool
Reddit has in recent months started to address online abuse, and on Wednesday it took one of its bigger steps toward helping individuals gain some control over tormentors: The company said it would give people a blocking feature to shield themselves against harassment on the site. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Taliban threat to hang journalist
An investigative journalist in Pakistan has received death threats from the Taliban and survived an armed kidnapping attempt for reporting on terrorist organizations. THE FERRET