PEN’s Free Expression Digest brings you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related stories from around the web. Subscribe here. *This mailing list is currently in BETA as we work out the kinks. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

Court lifts injunction against the NSA metadata collection program
An appeals court in Washington D.C. has lifted an injunction against the National Security Agency’s call records program on grounds that the plaintiff has not proved his own phone records were collected. The move lifts an injunction against the NSA’s collection that had been imposed by a District Court judge in December 2013. REUTERS
Empty chair for NSA whistleblower Snowden at prize ceremony in Norway
Edward Snowden will be represented by an empty chair next week when he is honored with a freedom of expression prize in Norway, as he fears extradition to the US, organizers said Friday. The former intelligence contractor fled the US after leaking documents that exposed vast US surveillance programs to journalists. AFP
Associated Press sues over access to FBI records involving fake news story
The Associated Press sued the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday over the FBI’s failure to provide public records related to the creation of a fake news story used to plant surveillance software on a suspect’s computer. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Judge denies the Wall Street Journal’s request for records
A federal judge in Texas has ruled that a batch of government documents the Wall Street Journal requested to see cannot be released. The ruling highlights the difficulty of breaking down wall of secrecy surrounding electronic surveillance by government. WSJ
Al-Jazeera journalists await verdict in Cairo *PEN Case List
An Egyptian court is set to issue a verdict today after multiple postponements on three Al-Jazeera journalists accused of being part of a terrorist group and broadcasting false information. Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohammed, have already spent 411 days imprisoned in Egypt. DEUTSCHE WELLE
Jailed journalist Rauf Mirgadirov transferred to medical facility *PEN Case List
Mirgadirov is being held in a jail of the National Security Ministry in Azerbaijan. This week, he was transferred to a medical facility of the Justice Ministry’s Penitentiary Service and will return to the jail after being treated. Mirgadirov was arrested in 2014 and accused of treason, charges he denies as politically motivated retaliation for his criticism of human rights abuses. APA
Bangladesh arrests 2 more suspects for murder of blogger Niloy Neel
Police in Bangladesh have arrested two more suspected members of a banned militant group thought to be behind the slaying of secular blogger Niloy Neel, the fourth such killing this year. Niloy was hacked to death on August 7. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Indonesian Home Minister says sorry, nixes new rule for foreign media
Following protests from foreign media outlets, the Home Ministry on Thursday decided to revoke circulars that obliged all visiting foreign journalists to report themselves to all levels of government to detail their assignments in the country. THE JAKARTA POST
The noose tightens on freedom of speech in Jordan
When Jordan broadened its anti-terror law last year, critics warned that it could be used to silence opposition. Since then, several gag orders have been circulated to different news outlets, numerous journalists have been arrested, and the media has been prohibited from making statements critical of Jordan’s military. MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
Afghanistan’s journalists under fire, again
Yesterday, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) released statistics that indicated that 39 Afghan journalists had been victims of violence or threats of violence in the first six months of 2015. One reporter was killed and 23 were beaten or otherwise assaulted. 28 of the 39 attacks were attributed to the Afghan government authorities.