Free Expression Daily Digest: Thurs., Mar 3

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

Russian atheist faces year in jail for denying existence of God during web chat
A man in southern Russia faces a potential jail sentence after he was charged with insulting the feelings of religious believers over an internet exchange in which he wrote that “there is no God”.

U.S. ‘very concerned’ by media crackdown in Malaysia
The United States on Wednesday voiced concern about Malaysia’s media crackdown and suggested that the extent of press and Internet freedom in the Asian country could affect prospects for expanded bilateral cooperation. REUTERS

U.N. free speech watchdog will back Apple in court
The United Nations special reporter for freedom of expression, David Kaye, will support Apple in the company’s legal dispute against the FBI, BuzzFeed News has learned. BUZZFEED NEWS

Indian student held on sedition charge bailed after free speech protests
An Indian court granted bail on Wednesday to a student arrested for alleged sedition in a case that led to mass protests and accusations that the government is trying to stifle free speech. REUTERS

Hong Kong booksellers ‘to be released soon’
Police in Guangdong said in a letter to the Hong Kong force that Lui Bo, Lam Wingkei and Cheung Jiping would be bailed pending investigations. BBC NEWS

Sri Lanka’s new regime revives censorship of websites
Sri Lanka’s new government which came to power promising media freedom, has revived a move to censor news web sites, a popular form of dissent that significantly contributed to the downfall of Mahinda Rajapaksa. ECONOMY NEXT