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 pen.webintern@gmail.com

Germany investigates news website for treason after publishing reports on surveillance

Germany has opened a treason investigation into the news website Netzpolitik after the website published articles that revealed the government’s plans to increase state surveillance of online communications. The articles were based on leaked confidential documents. REUTERS

 

Justice Department sued over the FBI’s secret rules for using National Security Letters on journalists

The Freedom of the Press Foundation filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Justice Department over their unpublished rules for using National Security Letters and “exigent letters” to conduct surveillance of journalists. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS FOUNDATION

 

UK Home Secretary reverses visa decision, grants Ai Weiwei 6-month visa

The UK home secretary Theresa May has ordered officials to issue Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei a full six-month visa, reversing the decision not to grant him the travel document. Ai was initially refused for failing to declare his “criminal conviction,” despite the fact that he has never been charged or convicted of a crime. BBC

 

National Press Club honors imprisoned reporter Jason Rezaian *PEN Case List

The National Press Club has honored Jason Rezaian, a reporter for the Washington Post who has been wrongfully detained in Iran for over a year, with the John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom. Imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova and freelancer Austin Tice, who is missing in Syria, were also honored. NATIONAL PRESS CLUB

 

Egypt: News Network manager’s detention renewed for another 15 days

Yehia Khalaf, a manager at Yaqeen News Network, has had his detention renewed for another 15 days pending investigations. “Interviewing Muslim Brotherhood relatives” and harming national unity are among the charges. Khalaf was arrested on July 14 after the police raided the network’s office and seized all equipment. DAILY NEWS EGYPT

 

Myanmar amnesty frees 6,966 detainees, including 5 journalists

On Thursday, Myanmar released 155 Chinese nationals, who were jailed last week for illegal logging, as a “goodwill” gesture following intense lobbying from Beijing in a mass amnesty that also freed several political prisoners. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 

Journalists rally for press freedom in Malaysia after suspension of 2 newspapers

Local and foreign journalists gathered outside The Edge Media Group’s office in Malaysia to protest the suspension of its publishing permits following its coverage of a controversial state investment firm 1MDB. CHANNEL NEWS ASIA

 

Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi releases second issue of cartoons in series protesting Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s sentence *PEN Case List

Trivedi’s online cartoon magazine, Black and White: Strokes of Resistance, focuses exclusively on attacks against freedom of expression, and the writers bear the brunt of those attacks. Today marks 29 weeks since Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for founding a liberal website, was first flogged. ISSUU

Anniversary of human rights defender’s arrest marks year of unprecedented repression in Azerbaijan *PEN Case List

One year ago, Azerbaijani human rights defender Leyla Yunus was arrested and charged with treason, forgery, tax evasion, and illegal entrepreneurship. Yunus’s arrest marked the start of a period of unprecedented repression in Azerbaijan. The human rights situation in the country has now reached alarming lows. INDEX ON CENSORSHIP