Free Expression Digest: Fri., December 18
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Polish Journalist Expelled from Russia in tit-for-tat Move
Roman Imielski, managing editor for the leading Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, said Friday on Twitter that its correspondent to Moscow is being expelled from Russia and claims it is a tit-for-tat move after a Russian reporter to Poland was stripped of his right to reside in Poland amid suspicions of espionage. THE GUARDIAN
Whatsapp is Back on in Brazil. But Why Was it Blocked in the First Place?
Millions of Brazilians were left without access to WhatsApp after a local court ordered a 48-hour, country-wide suspension of the mobile messaging application this week. Soon afterward, the São Paulo Court of Appeals accepted an appeal, and users are gradually regaining access to the service. In July and August 2015, Brazilian judiciary officials ordered WhatsApp to release personal data of users who were being investigated by the Federal Police. But WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, refused to release the data.
Trudeau not ready to intervene in case of jailed Saudi blogger *PEN Case List
Trudeau tells The Canadian Press he won’t pick up the phone right now on behalf of Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his criticism of Saudi clerics. He says Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion is working on the file and will push authorities to respect international laws. Badawi, the founder of a Saudi liberal blog, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 10 years in prison and a fine of more than $325,000 for insulting religious authorities in the conservative Gulf kingdom. THE STAR
Thai Court Grants Bail to Activist Detained Over Facebook Posts: Lawyer
A Thai military court granted bail on Friday to a student activist arrested over Facebook posts criticising the junta and its officials, his lawyer said. Since taking power in a coup in May 2014, Thailand’s ruling junta has stifled dissent, banned political gatherings and detained activists, journalists and opposition politicians at military camps for days of “attitude adjustment sessions.” NDTV
Argentina Activist Accused of Inciting Mob Violence
Hebe de Bonafini, president of the Mothers of the Plazo de Mayo organization that searches for missing children from the dictatorship era, was accused by a federal attorney of disrupting the public order and inciting violence for calling for mobilizations and resistance against conservative President Mauricio Macri. TELESUR TV
Court adjourns trial of jailed journalist Dündar over graft probe articles until Feb *PEN Case List
An Istanbul court ruled on Thursday to consolidate two cases in which Cumhuriyet daily Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar is being tried and adjourned them until February, while deciding to acquit the journalist in another case. Dündar is currently in prison in pre-trial detention for publishing a story about an illegal transfer of arms to Syria from Turkey.TODAY’S ZAMAN
Blogger Blasted in Defamation Lawsuit
Canadian blogger Mark Silverthorn is accused of defamation by an Ontario based consulting firm New Beginnings Debt for $100,000. Along with monetary compensation, the lawsuit also demands he remove his blog posts about the company. The blog post in question is regarding an impromptu review after a meeting with the Plaintiff’s key executive regarding debt settlement services. HUFFINGTON POST
Metropolitan police illegally seized Sun journalist’s phone records, court rules
In a landmark legal ruling, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal today found reporter Craig Woodhouse’s phone bills should not have been demanded during the investigation to find out who leaked the Plebgate row. It also ruled that the force violated the human rights of two other Sun journalists – Anthony France and Tom Newton Dunn – as well as The Sun Newspaper by using anti-terror laws to seize their mobile and landline bills too.
THE SUN UK