Free Expression Daily Digest: Thurs., Mar 24

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

Vietnam bloggers jailed for publishing anti-state articles
A court in Hanoi has sentenced a well-known Vietnamese blogger, Nguyen Huu Vinh, to five years and his assistant Minh Thuy to three years in jail after finding them guilty of publishing anti-state articles. BBC NEWS

After 27 years, Nobel Panel condemns Rushdie death threats
The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, has condemned an Iranian death warrant against British writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after it was pronounced.

Professors’ group says efforts to halt sexual harassment have stifled speech
The growing federal emphasis on combating sexual harassment on campus has had a chilling effect on academic freedom and speech, a report released Thursday by the American Association of University Professors said. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Facebook’s censorship of Aboriginal bodies raises troubling ideas of ‘decency’
A photograph of topless Aboriginal women wearing ceremonial paint as part of a protest “violates community standards”, according to Facebook, and suspended users posting these images. THE GUARDIAN

Government and media to blame in debate on free speech in Japan, say journalists
Japanese journalists are criticizing communications minister Sanae Takaichi over her comments that the government can suspend broadcasters’ operations if they air what it considers politically-biased programs. Journalists also said the media was to blame by self-censoring in fear of burning bridges with government sources. THE JAPAN TIMES

Diplomats decry banning of Zimbabwe constitution
Diplomats in Zimbabwe on Wednesday expressed their disappointment over reports that the southern African country’s censorship board had banned a documentary exploring the fraught constitution-making process. NEWS 24