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. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

Missing journalist in Burundi feared dead
The family of Burundian journalist Jean Bigirimana, who was arrested last week by the National Intelligence Service, said it now fears he is dead. Bigirimana’s wife said the family has checked almost all of the jails in the province for him. THE WASHINGTON POST

Iraqi civil society fights new freedom of expression bill
Iraq’s civil associations took action after the country’s parliament announced a draft law that includes a one-year minimum prison sentence for insulting a religious symbol or figure and strict procedures for obtaining permits to protest. AL-MONITOR

Pakistan Senate passes cyber crime bill with amendments
The Senate unanimously passed the controversial Prevention of Electronics Crimes Bill with around fifty amendments to the original draft law. The bill has been criticized by civil society and rights groups for curbing freedom of expression. GEO NEWS

Indian author and activist Mahasweta Devi dies aged 90
Mahasweta Devi, who was hospitalized earlier this month, died of cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure on Thursday. She wrote extensively about the oppression faced by lower caste and tribes people in India. BBC

Tibetan monk who died was tortured, says niece who fled China
The niece of Buddhist monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who died in a Chinese jail last July, has fled to India to tell the world she suspects he was a victim of torture, contrary to the official account that he died of a heart attack. Rinpoche had been serving a life sentence for “crimes of terror and incitement of separatism.” REUTERS

Thailand to try opposition figures in military court
Eight Thai politicians are facing charges of sedition and for spreading “false information” about the draft constitution, a development that creates “a climate of fear” in the country ahead of a referendum. AL JAZEERA

Chelsea Manning faces solitary confinement after suicide attempt
The ACLU announced on Thursday that Manning was under investigation for three administrative charges related to her suicide attempt. If convicted, she faces punishment that could include solitary confinement, reclassification as a maximum-security prisoner, and an addition of nine years to her sentence. THE GUARDIAN