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Newly released transcripts from inside the Saudi embassy in Turkey tell last, gruesome moments of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s life. Newspaper executives advocate at the Capitol for reconsideration of an anti-trust bill that would allow struggling media outlets to negotiate jointly with tech companies for a better share of digital advertising revenues. In a lawsuit, the National Rifle Association claims San Francisco violated the free speech rights of the group and its supporters. PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program Director Caits Meissner shares what writers who are in prison want readers and other writers to know about their craft and work.
Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Newspapers turn to lobbying against Facebook and Google
Senior executives from seven major newspaper publishing companies headed to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to convince lawmakers to do something about the dominance of tech companies over content creators.

NRA sues San Francisco for declaring group a ‘domestic terrorist organization’
The National Rifle Association sued San Francisco on Monday over the city’s recent declaration that the gun-rights lobby is a “domestic terrorist organization.” The lawsuit, filed in US district court for the northern district of California, accuses city officials of violating the gun lobby’s free speech rights for political reasons and says the city is seeking to blacklist anyone associated with the NRA. It asks the court to step in “to instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.”

What Incarcerated Writers Want the Literary Community to Understand
PEN America’s Caits Missner writes about the silo of the “prison writer” and how that label doesn’t accurately reflect the creativity emanating from writers within American prisons. She also asks our current crop of Prison and Justice Writing Program participants to reflect on what it means to be incarcerated and a writer.

The U.S. Border Patrol and an Israeli Military Contractor are Putting a Native American Reservation Under Surveillance
Firsthand reporting, interviews, and a review of documents in this story provide a window into the high-tech surveillance apparatus CBP is building in the name of deterring illicit migration—and highlight how these same systems often end up targeting other marginalized populations as well as political dissidents.


Newly released transcripts tell last, gruesome moments of columnist Jamal Khashoggi

Turkish media published transcripts of the final moments of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. A UN special investigator determined this summer that his murder was directed from the highest levels of the Saudi government and required further investigation. See PEN America’s call in August for a full accounting of what the U.S. and other governments may know about Khashoggi’s murder.


E.U.’s New Digital Czar: ‘Most Powerful Regulator of Big Tech on the Planet’

On Tuesday, Margrethe Vestager became the European Union’s digital czar, a post that analysts saw will give her unparalleled regulatory reach at a time when public anger is high over issues like privacy, disinformation, data management, and the enormous reach of big tech. PEN America will be hosting a symposium at the FEC in Washington next week on disinformation and the 2020 campaign.


Turkish high court to review Wikipedia appeal against ban

Turkey’s highest court on Wednesday began considering an appeal by Wikipedia aiming to reverse the Turkish government’s more than two-year ban on the online encyclopedia. Access to Wikipedia and all its language editions was blocked under a law that allows the government to ban websites it deems pose a national security threat.


Hong Kong bookseller arrested for selling banned books likely to relaunch store 

A former manager at the now-shuttered Causeway Bay Books store in Hong Kong who was detained in mainland China for selling banned books says he will likely open a new store in Taiwan by the end of the year. Lam Wing-kei was among five booksellers detained by Chinese police for selling banned political books to customers across the internal border in mainland China. See PEN America’s report on the Causeway Bay disappearances.


Lyra McKee anthology to show ‘subtlety and courage’ of murdered reporter

An anthology of work by the investigative journalist Lyra McKee, who was fatally shot by New IRA gunmen, will be published next year on the first anniversary of her death. The 29-year-old was reporting on unrest in Derry on 18 April while standing close to a police vehicle when she was killed by activists from the dissident republican group.


DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. An article’s inclusion does not imply endorsement by PEN America. We welcome your comments. Send your feedback and story suggestions to DARE@pen.org