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

Angela Merkel allows investigation of Erdoğan satirist
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she will permit a criminal investigation into the comedian Jan Böhmermann on charges that he insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while promising to overturn the law in question and arguing that artistic freedom was an “elementary” right. POLITICO

Ex-Reuters journalist Matthew Keys sentenced to two years for hacking
Keys, who once worked for Tribune Company-owned Sacramento television station Fox 40, left that job in 2010 and went on to copy and paste login credentials for the Tribune Company’s content management system (CMS) into a chatroom where members of the hacking collective Anonymous planned out their operations. MOTHERBOARD

Saudi Arabia moves to curb its feared religious police
The most significant change states that members of the religious police are to work only during office hours, and that they do not have the right to pursue, arrest or detain members of the public. They are, instead, directed to report violations of Islamic law to the civil police. THE NEW YORK TIMES

US condemns Syrian journalist’s murder by IS in Turkey
The US has condemned the “vicious murder” of a Syrian journalist in Turkey by an Islamic State militant – the fourth such attack in a year. Zahir al-Shurqat, a presenter for online TV channel Aleppo Today, was shot on a street in the south-eastern border town of Gazientep on Sunday. BBC NEWS

Court dismisses charges against London arms fair protesters
A court has dismissed charges against protesters who blocked the road outside a major London arms fair, after they argued that they acted to stop greater crimes being committed using weapons bought in the UK. THE GUARDIAN

Number of murdered journalists in Mexico hard to pin down
Some organizations only count journalists who were killed because of their work, while others also include journalists killed during protests or in combat. Some also count journalists who are in car accidents on their way to cover a story or who are killed while at work, according to the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. HOUSTON CHRONICLE