Chinese court sentences Ai Weiwei’s lawyer to 12 years for fraud
The lawyer, Xia Lin, and his wife and supporters strongly rejected the prosecutors’ claim that he had defrauded people, and said the case was part of the government’s campaign to silence Chinese rights lawyers who have challenged arbitrary state power.

Massive web attack hits security blogger
One of the biggest web attacks ever seen has been aimed at a security blogger after he exposed hackers who carry out such attacks for cash. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was aimed at the website of industry expert Brian Krebs.

Turkey frees top journalist, arrests academic brother in coup probe
A Turkish court on Thursday freed a prominent journalist, Ahmet Altan, but placed under arrest his academic brother, Mehmet Altan, after their detention in the probe into the July 15 attempted putsch sparked an international campaign for their release.

Blogger arrested for criticizing Nigeria governor’s purchase of coffins
The police in Katsina State in Nigeria said yesterday that it arrested blogger Jamil Mabai for criticizing the purchase of 3000 coffins for distribution to mosques by the state governor, Aminu Masari. Mabai had criticized the rationale behind the purchase when the governor is yet to pay outstanding salary to civil servants in the State.

West Bengal blogger arrested for criticizing Islam on social media
A blogger from West Bengal, Tarak Biswas, was arrested by police for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam. The arrest of the freethinker blogger came after a local Trinamool Congress leader, Sanaullah Khan, registered a first information report with the Howrah Police for mocking Islam.

Professors at U. of Ghana demand removal of ‘racist’ Gandhi statue
Professors and students at the University of Ghana are calling for the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from the campus grounds in Accra, on the basis of the Indian leader’s “racist identity”. More than 1,200 people have signed a petition demanding the Gandhi statue be pulled down, citing comments he is claimed to have made that are offensive to black Africans.

North Korea accidentally revealed it has just 28 websites
Thanks to an apparent mistake, North Korea has revealed that only 28 websites use the “.kp” domain name. The small number of websites that use the domain isn’t exactly surprising only a few thousand North Korean citizens, if that, have access to the Internet.

Female rappers take a stand in Mexico’s capital of violence against women
As darkness descends over the imposing green mountains on the outskirts of Mexico City, Luz Reality, a 32-year-old rapper, steps under a faded orange tarp and through a metal security door into the underground venue. Though a veteran of the city’s hip-hop scene, she admits she still gets unnerved by the constant threat of assault in the areas around Ecatepec’s clandestine concert venues.


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