Free Expression Daily Digest: Thurs., Feb 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. Subscribe here. *This mailing list is currently in BETA as we work out the kinks. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

Voting in Uganda plagued by delays; social media shut down
As Ugandans tried to cast ballots Thursday in presidential and parliamentary elections, amid tardy delivery of voting materials in the capital, the government also shut down access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Indian journalists stage protest in Chennai
Journalists staged a protest in Chennai on Wednesday to condemn the assault on media personnel in New Delhi by lawyers at a Patiala House court. THE TIMES OF INDIA

California school to change policy after banning gay t-shirt
A central California school district settled a free speech lawsuit brought by a high school junior who was sent home for refusing to change out of a T-shirt that read, “Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian.”

Maldives’ media freedom under threat as president aims to criminalize defamation
Local media on Thursday expressed concern over President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s plan to reverse the penalty for defamation to make it a criminal offence and labelled it as a move to destroy press freedom in the Archipelago. HAVEERU

Egypt to shut prominent center that documents torture
Egypt has ordered the closure of the country’s last remaining centre for the treatment and documentation of alleged torture victims. Rights groups have criticised Egypt’s government for its crackdown on dissent, and there has been a surge in allegations of torture by officials. BBC