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

Anti-Islamic State journalist murdered in Turkey 
Naji Jerf, 38, was shot with a silenced pistol in downtown Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, Turkish media reported. Mr. Jerf was the film director for Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), a group of journalists who risk their lives daily to report on IS abuses. It is the second murder of a member of the group in as many weeks, after Ahmad Mohammed al-Mousa was killed in Syria. BBC

Beijing slaps expulsion order on French journalist 
The expulsion comes after Ursula Gauthier questioned an official line equating violence in China’s western Muslim region with global terrorism. Gauthier, a journalist with magazine L’Obs, says she is prepared to leave the country. Once she departs on 31 December, she will become the first foreign journalist forced to leave China since 2012, when American Melissa Chan, then working for Al Jazeera in Beijing, was expelled. EURO NEWS

Ethiopia arrest second journalist in a week, rights body says 
Getachew Shiferaw, editor in chief of Negere Ethiopia online newspaper, was arrested on Dec. 25, following the Dec. 19 detention of Fikadu Mirkana, an anchor at state-run broadcaster Oromia Radio and TV. An Ethiopian court granted permission to hold him for 28 days for interrogation after which he is likely to be charged under the nation’s anti-terrorism law, according to the CPJ. Ethiopia’s police also detained Bekele Gerba, a leading opposition figure from the Oromo ethnic group that’s been protesting against an urban development plan over the last month, according to a government spokesman. BLOOMBERG

Egypt journalist stabbed four times in ‘assassination attempt’
A prominent Egyptian journalist known for being openly critical of the country’s security practices has been stabbed four times in what relatives say was an assassination attempt. Ahmed Gamal Zyada was walking at a metro station in Giza late on Friday night when he was attacked by two men, one of whom stabbed him four times, according to an account published by his brother Mohammed on Facebook. Relatives and friends say they consider the attack an assassination attempt rather than a robbery, as his money and mobile phone were not taken. MIDDLE EAST EYE

Young Russian activist who protested annexation of Crimea commits suicide
A young activist renowned for protesting against Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region has committed suicide.18-year-old Vlad Kolesnikov took a lethal dose of medicine in Russia’s Samara region on December 23, according to reports by the Ukrianian service of RFE/RL. His name became known in June 2015 after arriving to lessons in a T-shirt featuring the Ukrainian flag and inscription ‘Return Crimea’. Kolesnikov also refused to serve in the Russian army. UKRAINE TODAY

Myanmar social media activist jailed for insulting military
Chaw Sandi Tun, an activist in Myanmar, was sent to prison for posting a cartoon on Facebook seen as mocking the country’s powerful military. The 25-year-old was arrested in October after sharing a cartoon that depicted two military officials standing alongside Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition parts National League for Democracy (NDU), who is known for wearing a traditional sarong wrap. A caption beneath cartoon read: “If you love Mother Suu so much, why don’t you wrap her sarong around your head?” DEUTSCHE WELLE

Prominent Azerbaijani journalist jailed for six years
Azerbaijani authorities have sentenced a prominent journalist to six years in jail after finding him guilty of spying for arch-enemy Armenia, in a case slammed by rights groups as politically motivated. Rauf Mirkadyrov was found guilty of “high treason, namely of spying for Armenia, ” the journalist’s lawyer said on December 28. The lawyer, Fuad Agayev, said that Mirkadyrov “rejects the accusations as politically motivated.” RADIO FREE EUROPE

Chinese gay activist claims victory in online film censorship lawsuit
Chinese Internet firms including Youku Tudou and started streaming director Fan Popo’s film about three years ago, when he first posted it online. But one day last December, it was suddenly nowhere to be found. After the two firms told him they had received a document from SAPPRFT stating that the film violated its guidelines, Mr. Fan filed a request in February for information from the regulator.The national agency replied to Mr. Fan weeks later that it had never “released a document to delete and block” the film. While the verdict still leaves it unclear who — if anyone — ordered the film to be taken offline, Mr. Fan and his supporters have hailed it as a victory. WALL STREET JOURNAL