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

U.S. publishers take a stand against censorship in China
In light of China’s ascendance in the publishing industry, 12 American publishers have signed a pledge to work against the censorship of foreign authors’ works in China. The pledge was announced on Thursday by the PEN American Center, which spearheaded the movement, and was timed to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest annual gathering of the publishing industry. NEW YORK TIMES

Hearing held on Khadija Ismayilova’s appeal *PEN Case List
A Baku court on Thursday held a hearing on the appeal against the judgment over journalist Khadija Ismayilova. At the preliminary hearing, lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev filed a motion for commuting Ismayilova’s imprisonment to house arrest and for a partial investigation of the criminal case. The petitions were rejected. APA

Iran sentences poets, filmmaker to prison, lashings
Poets Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Musavi were sentenced to prison terms of 11 1/2 years and nine years after being convicted of charges that include “insulting sanctities.” Their lawyer said the charges were brought against the two based on their poetry. Meanwhile, award-winning filmmaker Keywan Karimi was sentenced to six years in prison and 223 lashes, the Iranian website Kalame reported. RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY

Court issues total media ban over Ankara suicide bombings
An Ankara court issued on Oct. 14 a broad media ban over the Oct. 10 Ankara suicide bomber investigation. According to the court decision, the ban includes “all kinds of news, interviews, criticism and similar publications in print, visual, social media and all kinds of media on the Internet.” HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

India’s chilling death toll: Another journalist killed in Uttar Pradesh
According to reports, Hemant Kumar Yadav, a 45-year-old local television journalist was confronted by two motorcyclists as he was travelling home and shot twice in the chest. Police have registered the case but no arrests have been made. Yadav is the third journalist to be killed in Uttar Pradesh in four months. IFEX

Moroccan journalist on hunger strike hospitalized after collapse
Maati Monjib, who ran an institute for investigative journalism and was a Brookings Institution visiting fellow, was hospitalized Tuesday after his blood pressure dropped sharply. He told sources that he wants to enter and leave Morocco freely and demanded an end to the harassment against his family and colleagues, which included being blocked from attending journalism conferences. He stopped eating on Oct. 6. U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

How WhatsApp is fuelling a ‘sharing revolution’ in Sudan
In a climate of repression where websites are monitored and newspapers closed by Omar al-Bashir’s authoritarian government, citizens are left with few safe options through which to share articles and voice their dissent. As the app’s usage grows, politically charged residents are able to share news and views without fear. THE GUARDIAN