German journalist flees Syria captivity with baby
A German woman who was kidnapped in Syria in October 2015 while pregnant and gave birth in captivity has escaped with her baby, the German foreign ministry said. German media have named the woman as freelance journalist Janina Findeisen, who worked for Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.

Iran upholds 16-year sentence for human rights advocate
An Iranian appeals court on Wednesday upheld a 16-year prison sentence for Narges Mohammadi, who was sentenced in May on charges of violating national security and acting against the Islamic regime through her support of an anti-death penalty campaign.

Norway won’t let Snowden come to accept free speech award
A Norwegian appeals court rejected a lawsuit from famed whistleblower Edward Snowden against the Norwegian government Wednesday, denying him free passage to the country to accept a free speech award from the local branch of writers’ group PEN International.

Singapore court sends teen blogger back to jail for criticizing religion
A Singapore court sentenced 17-year-old blogger Amos Yee to six weeks in jail on Thursday for “wounding religious feelings”, his second prison term in a year, reigniting concerns about social controls and censorship in the conservative city-state.

Egyptian journalist released on bail in Red Sea islands case
A local criminal court ordered the release of journalist Mahmoud El-Sakka on EGP 5,000 bail pending investigation on Thursday, lawyer Khaled Ali announced. El-Sakka is accused of spreading false news, inciting the public, and plotting to overthrow the regime for publishing articles in Yanair news website.

Zimbabwe activist released from jail without charges
Pro-democracy activist Linda Masarira was released from jail late last night following her detention since July of this year. Masarira was arrested with ten other activists during the #ShutdownZim2016 protest that called for President Robert Mugabe to change economic and governance policies.

Op-Ed: A free-speech fatality
Knowingly or not, the government of Jordan contributed to a wave of incitement and public outrage against Nehed Hattar, who was shot dead in front of a courthouse in Amman in an unprecedented assassination that sent shock waves throughout a kingdom that boasts about its security and stability above all else.

Charlie Hebdo launches literary prize for young writers
Nearly 1,400 young writers from Francophone countries entered Le Prix Charlie Hebdo, which asked participants to explore in 4,000 words how France could replace le baccalaureat, the often-dreaded series of written and oral exams that students must pass to enter university.

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