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

Blogger jailed for ‘disrespecting’ ruler, Shiites
The Misdemeanor Court of First Instance has sentenced a Kuwaiti blogger, whose identity has not been disclosed, to three years in prison in a libel suit for posting a malicious tweet against His Highness the Amir and disdaining Kuwaiti Shiites. However, the court acquitted him over alleged attacks against Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the purported membership in the Islamic State or the socalled DAESH. The blogger had denied all allegations filed against him by the Public Prosecution but the court found him guilty of some of the allegations. ARAB TIMES KUWAIT ENGLISH DAILY

Russian activist gets two year sentence for “calls to extremism” on social media
A Krasnodar district court has found activist Darya Polyudova guilty of “public calls to separatism and extremism” on social media and has sentenced her to two years in a penal colony. Earlier, Polyudova was charged with public calls to activity aimed at disrupting the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, as well as with calls to extremism including such calls on social networks. GLOBAL VOICES

Sierra Leone: Police detain managing editor Jonathan Leigh
The managing editor of the Independent Observer newspaper was detained last Thursday at the CID headquarters in Freetown. Jonathan Leigh was picked up at his 67 Siaka Stevens Street offices following the publication of what Police sources described as “false report”. Efforts to get him released over the weekend proved unsuccessful. He might be charged to court today, according to senior Police sources. The arrest of Mr. Leigh had to do with the Thursday edition of his newspaper which claimed that three people were killed in Kono district following bye-election violence that erupted in Constituency 025. GLOBAL TIMES NEWSPAPER

Myanmar court sentences journalists for protesting without a permit
A Myanmar court sentenced a local journalist on Friday to 15 days in prison or pay a 10,000-kyat (U.S. $7.70) fine for participating in a public prayer event for persecuted reporters last November. A court in Kyauktada Township in the commercial capital Yangon handed down the sentence to Shwe Hmone, senior reporter at the Thamaga News Journal, who was charged under Article 19 of the Peaceful Assembly Law for protesting without a permit in the quasi-civilian-run Southeast Asian nation. RADIO FREE ASIA

Russia launches new probe against opposition activist Navalny
Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny is under new investigation for defamation of a Moscow district court judge, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Monday. In late October, Navalny posted on the Internet a picture and a note reading: “Grazing the skin of corrupt Judge (Yevgeniy) Borisov.” This came shortly after the hearing where the judge ordered Navalny and two associates to pay 16 million rubles ($225,500) in moral damages to the Kirovles company. The opposition activist now faces a fine of up to 2 million rubles (some $28,200) or 360 hours of compulsory community service. TASS ENGLISH

Sudanese editors face death penalty for ‘inciting an Arab Spring’
Two prominent Sudanese editors are facing the death penalty over claims they are “inciting an Arab spring” and have introduced anti-government editorial policies at their newspapers. Osman Marghani and Ahmed Yousef El Tay were seized by the intelligence services at their offices last Thursday. They face sentencing this week. THE GUARDIAN 

Mexican Journalists are being threatened, blackmailed, and murdered
Anabel Hernández, author of the best-selling book Narcoland, is one of Mexico’s most prominent investigative journalists. Hernández’s home was broken into, but the attackers stole nothing. According to Hernández, they were after her files. The recent intrusion is just the latest in a long line of death threats and assaults she has faced for her work exposing the links between Mexico’s drug cartels and corrupt government officials. The break-in at Hernández’s home in November was one of several assaults on high-profile Mexican journalists that month. NEWSWEEK

Egyptian journalist awaiting trial on terror charges is freed from jail on medical grounds
Eyptian photojournalist Esraa Taweel has been released from jail on medical grounds after spending more than six months behind bars awaiting trial on charges of belonging to a terrorist group and spreading false news with the aim of harming national unity. Cairo’s Criminal Court announced Saturday that the 23-year-old would be confined to house arrest and allowed out only for medical treatment. Taweel sustained a serious leg injury when she was struck by a bullet during protests on the anniversary of the Egypt’s 2011 revolution. LA TIMES