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

Syria: Cartoonist Akram Raslan confirmed dead under torture
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights has received news of the killing of Syrian cartoonist Akram Raslan. Raslan died under torture in a government detention center a few months after being arrested in October 2012. GULF CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Ecuador’s president used millions in public funds to censor critical online videos
President Rafael Correa used millions of dollars from his country’s intelligence budget to remove a documentary and other information critical of him or his wife from the internet, leaked documents show. BUZZFEED

Obama administration quietly explored ways to bypass phone encryption
According to National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh, “The United States government firmly supports the development and robust adoption of strong encryption, while acknowledging that use of encryption by terrorists and criminals to conceal and enable crimes and other malicious activity can pose serious challenges to public safety.” THE WASHINGTON POST

Journalists in Turkey sued for allegedly insulting President Erdoğan
According to Article 299 of Criminal Code of the Republic of Turkey, a person who insults the president shall be sentenced to one to four years in prison. In the first three weeks of September, at least 19 media employees were sued. BIANET

Billboards call on White House to do more to free kidnapped journalist
Houston native Austin Tice disappeared while covering the conflict in Syria, and his parents hope to keep the pressure on President Obama to make his return a priority. HOUSTON PUBLIC MEDIA

Iranian journalists suffer PTSD from trauma on the job
A survey of Iranian journalists has found that a shockingly high number of them have been harassed, detained, and tortured. And a great deal suffer from mental health problems. CBC RADIO

More Ethiopian netizens face terrorism charges
Following the widely recognized case of the Zone9 bloggers, additional online activists and concerned citizens are being silenced by the government under Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. GLOBAL VOICES

Two dozen dissidents arrested by Cuban police during papal visit
Members of the group Ladies in White were arrested during Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba and were freed after his departure from the island. They said they had been invited by Vatican officials to attend the pope’s mass in Havana, but were arrested before they could get there. FOX NEWS LATINO