Free Expression Daily Digest: Tues., April 19

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

UN rights expert sees threats to press independence in Japan
A U.N. rights expert warned Tuesday of “serious threats” to the independence of the press in Japan, including laws meant to protect coverage fairness and national security that he said could work as censorship.

Chinese man sentenced to death for leaking state secrets
A Chinese man has been sentenced to death for leaking more than 150,000 classified documents to an unidentified foreign power, state television said on Tuesday, offering unusual details of a kind of case rarely mentioned in public. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Press freedom on decline as official defends media-related laws 
The status of media freedom in Jordan is witnessing a decline amidst the fluctuation and ambiguity of legislation governing the sector, media and law experts said Monday as officials defended media-related laws. THE JORDAN TIMES

Turkey denies entry to German journalist at Istanbul airport
Turkish authorities at Istanbul airport denied entry on Tuesday to a German public television journalist who arrived from Cairo and planned to travel to the Turkey-Syria border, the ARD broadcaster said.

Mayoralty candidate sues journalists for libel
A candidate for mayor of Dapa, Surigao Del Norte has filed libel charges against several local journalists over a report on her supposed “swindling” of the residents of a barangay (village) in Surigao del Norte province.

Australia’s attacks on journalists’ sources are about politics, not national security
The Australian federal police has this week admitted that it sought access to my metadata in pursuit of my sources. In a submission to the privacy commissioner, it revealed it had sought “subscriber checks” and other forms of email checks relating to me as part of one of their investigations. THE GUARDIAN