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

Chinese activist in N.Y. says Beijing officials ‘abducted’ his parents and brother
Wen Yunchao, a Chinese freedom of speech activist in New York, said that Chinese authorities have “abducted” his family on the mainland, highlighting Beijing’s growing determination to silence critical voices overseas. LOS ANGELES TIMES

Turkish court takes journalists’ espionage trial behind closed doors
A Turkish court took the trial of Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, two prominent journalists charged with espionage, behind closed doors on Friday and accepted President Tayyip Erdogan as a complainant, in a case which has drawn international condemnation. REUTERS

Australian mining company denies role in murder of South African activist
An Australian-owned mining company has denied any link to the murder of Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe, an activist leading a campaign against its plans to mine titanium in South Africa. THE GUARDIAN

Saudi journalist gets 5 years in prison over tweets
Alaa Brinji, a journalist in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to five years in prison and given an eight-year travel ban over messages he posted to Twitter. Brinji was found guilty of charges including insulting Saudi rulers, inciting public opinion and accusing security forces of killing protesters in the kingdom’s predominantly Shiite east. ABC

Brown students shut down trans activist’s speech—because Israel
Trans activist Janet Mock was chased away from an engagement at Brown University, not by anti-LGBT forces but by students who saw even her slightest tie to Israel. THE DAILY BEAST