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 [email protected]

Activist in China is handed 19 years in jail
China has handed prison sentences totaling more than 19 years to an activist in the region of Xinjiang, the home of the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic group. Zhang Haitao, who is himself Han Chinese, was given 15 years for “incitement to subvert state power” and a shorter term for “providing intelligence overseas,” Radio Free Asia reports. He had posted articles online critical of the Beijing government. TIME

Thai junta under fire over detention of student activist
Thai military personnel apprehended a prominent student activist Wednesday and then allegedly subjected him to abuse before dropping him off at a police station. The student in question, Sirawith Seritiwat, who is also known as Ja New, had previously led protests against Rajabhakti Park – a billion-baht military project that has been embroiled with allegations of corruption. ASIAN CORRESPONDENT

Chinese rights campaigner disappears in Thailand
A rights activist and former columnist who fled China and leaked confidential documents detailing Communist party propaganda efforts has vanished in Thailand, according to his wife. Li Xin was last heard from before boarding a train en route to Laos. His disappearance follows other cases where critics of Beijing have gone missing or been deported by Thailand’s China-allied junta. THE GUARDIAN

Irish media group warns journalists of phone tapping
The accessing of journalists’ phone records by state agencies breaches the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, according to NewsBrands Ireland. The organization has urged journalists working for its members to contact service providers over the coming days to ask if their phone or Internet communications records have been the subject of surveillance requests. THE IRISH TIMES

Swede’s crime confession on China TV rattles foreign groups
The detention and televised confession of political crimes by a Swedish activist in China has sent chills through communities of foreigners that engage in civic issues in the country. Beijing’s public shaming of Peter Dahlin is a sign that China’s leaders may now be trying to muzzle international critics with the same tactics they’ve deployed against local dissidents. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Blogger in Kenya charged over Facebook post
A blogger who allegedly accused a local official of importing substandard eggs in a Facebook post will know his fate today, after spending three days in jail. The Nairobi-based blogger, Waime Mburu, was charged in a Mombasa court Thursday with publishing false information. STANDARD DIGITAL

Jason Rezaian, Post reporter, departs for U.S. *PEN Case List
Freed from Iran with three other prisoners last week, Jason Rezaian has left an American mlitary hospital in Germany and is headed for the U.S. In a statement, Mr. Rezaian expressed gratitude, but he said he was not ready to talk publicly. “At some point, I will be ready to discuss my ordeal, but for now, I just want to express my profound appreciation for the tremendous support I have received.” THE NEW YORK TIMES