Free Expression Daily Digest: Weds., December 23

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

Bank of America gets Twitter to delete journalist’s joke, says he violated copyright
The founding editor of Business Insider UK, Jim Edwards had a bank delete two of his tweets today. In an e-mail, Bank of America told Edwards that his tweets violated the bank’s copyright and that if he kept it up, they’d see to it that his Twitter account was deleted. Edwards had quoted a research document produced by analysts. He says the tweets were “probably trivial,” but can’t really be more specific—in part because the frequent Twitter user can’t even remember exactly what they were about. ARS TECHNICA

Kenyan Blogger summoned to court for questioning authenticity of CEO’s degree
Blogger Robert Alai has been summoned after he allegedly posted a message “intended to harm EACC boss Halakhe Waqo”. Alai said in a Facebook post that he questioned the “authenticity of the degree of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo”. Milimani Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo said Alai should appear before the court on Wednesday to face charges of improper use of licensed telecommunications system. Alai said as public officials, they will be asked questions “whether they like it or not”. ALL AFRICA

Journalist says China may expel her for article on Uighurs
HONG KONG — A French journalist says she is facing expulsion from China after she wrote an article critical of the country’s treatment of its Uighur minority, which set off stinging criticism in the state-controlled press, a public rebuke from a government spokeswoman and a torrent of online invective. NEW YORK TIMES

Japanese journalist in Syria in danger
Terrorists holding Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda have started a countdown for the payment of a ransom, failing which they are threatening to execute him or sell him to another terrorist group. Yasuda was kidnapped by an armed group in an area controlled by the Al-Nusra Front a few hours after crossing the border into Syria in early July. The stories he had wanted to cover included Islamic State’s execution of his friend and fellow Japanese journalist Kenji Goto in January. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS

More journalists being attacked in Serbia, report
The report by NUNS, issued on Tuesday, says that a total of 34 attacks on journalists were reported in 2015, which is far more than in 2014, when around 20 attacks were reported. Miroslav Jankovic, legal advisor to the OSCE mission in Serbia, says institutions in Serbia are “still not ready to tackle this problem.” Jankovic said journalists do not trust the police and other institutions that should be fighting the problem of violence against journalists. BALKAN INSIGHT

Nigeria slaps fresh charges on Biafran activist
Nigerian prosecutors have filed fresh charges against a Biafran activist just days after a court ordered his release, court officials said Wednesday. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has been held by the Department of State Services (DSS), the country’s secret police, since his arrest in October for operating pirate Radio Biafra and belonging to an unlawful organization. A court in Abuja last week dropped the case after the prosecution decided to discontinue the trial, but the DSS refused to release him, saying he was under investigation for fresh charges of terrorism and terrorism financing. YAHOO NEWS

Journalist faces three years in jail for publishing Erdoğan’s MİT-trucks complaint 
Cumheriyet daily journalist Alican Uludağ faces up to three years in prison for publishing a copy of the criminal complaint lodged by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against Cumhuriyet editors Can Dündar and Erdem Gül regarding an alleged transfer of arms by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to Syria. In a series of tweets on his personal Twitter account about the investigation launched by the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office, Uludağ said on Tuesday that he had covered Erdoğan’s complaint against Dündar and Gül six months ago like many other media outlets but that the prosecutor insists that the document’s publication violated the confidentiality of the investigation against Dündar and Gül. TODAY’S ZAMAN

Sochi environmental activist released from prison
A Russian activist who criticized the environmental impact of last year’s Olympic Games in Sochi has been released from prison, his associate said Tuesday. Yevgeny Vitishko has “walked out of prison gates,” fellow activist Suren Gazaryan said via Facebook. “Hooray!” Vitishko’s prison sentence was widely seen as as punishment for his reports exposing the damage from construction for the Sochi Olympics. Ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Vitishko was planning to go to the city to present an environmental report. He was arrested at a bus stop and convicted of swearing in public. THE MOSCOW TIMES