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

Iran arrests two journalists as crackdown gathers pace
Isa Saharkhiz, a well-known independent journalist, was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and propaganda against the regime”. Ehsan Mazandarani, managing director of the Farikhtegan newspaper, was arrested on security charges, the Tasnim news agency, which is linked to the IRGC, said. REUTERS

Syria journalist killed amid clashes in Damascus suburbs
A Syrian journalist was killed Tuesday amid intense clashes and shelling between government troops and rebel fighters, the state official news agency and activists reported. Batoul Mokhles al-Warar, a broadcaster at Noor al-Sham TV channel and Damascus radio station, was killed by mortar rounds fired by “terrorists,” according to news agency SANA. U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

Turkish magazine critical of Erdoğan confiscated, editors arrested
An Istanbul court has ordered the confiscation of the latest issue of Nokta magazine on the grounds that it “incites crime” due to its cover, less than two months after it was first confiscated for “insulting the president.” The magazine’s editor-in-chief and chief news editor have been arrested. HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

Tribal journalist Zaman Mehsud gunned down in Pakistan
Senior tribal journalist Zaman Mehsud was killed Tuesday when unidentified gunmen opened fire on him. Police said Mehsud was riding a motorcycle when he was attacked by the gunmen. The journalist was critically injured, and was taken to the District Headquarters Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. GEO.TV

Zimbabwe journalists arrested for implicating cops, rangers in elephant poaching
Zimbabwean police have arrested journalists at a state newspaper over a story implicating police officers and parks authorities in the poisoning of at least 60 elephants, a media complaints watchdog said Tuesday. “We confirm the arrest of three journalists and we condemn the arrest,” Loughty Dube, director of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe told AFP. TIMES LIVE

German journalist assaulted over column decrying xenophobia
A German journalist has told of being attacked in the street after writing a column about the rise of xenophobia among right-wing extremists in his country. Helmut Schümann, a columnist for the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel wrote on Facebook about the assault. According to his account, he was attacked from behind by a group of people on Friday. THE GUARDIAN

Mozambicans start a petition against the high cost of Internet
New regulations hindering Internet access in Mozambique are upsetting Mozambican cybernauts and web surfers. On October 26, three key local Internet Service Providers hiked prices for internet access bundles by about 75%. Mauro Brito, an environmentalist and social activist called the decision “a measure to prohibit awareness and participation”. GLOBAL VOICES

UK: Editorial staff of Elsevier journal resigns over high price, lack of open access
The entire editorial staff of the prestigious academic title Lingua have resigned in protest over the high cost of subscribing to the journal, and the refusal of the journal’s publisher, Elsevier, to convert the title completely to open access. The open access model allows anyone, whether an academic or not, to read a journal online for free. ARS TECHNICA UK

Russia: Librarian is accused of allowing access to banned Ukrainian books
The director of a Ukrainian-language library in Moscow was placed under house arrest on Monday by a Russian court that accused her of allowing public access to banned literature. Natalia Sharina could face as much as five years in prison for disseminating banned books by Ukrainian nationalist writer, Dmytro Korchynsky. NEW YORK TIMES

Blogger’s widow urges safe houses for writers on death lists
The widow of a Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger killed earlier this year decried the Bangladesh government’s failure to prosecute the perpetrators of deadly attacks on writers Monday and urged countries to provide safe houses for dozens more on death lists. ABC NEWS