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

Disappearance of 5 tied to publisher prompts worries about Hong Kong
The recent disappearance of five men tied to a publisher of provocative books about China’s top leaders has alarmed many people in this semiautonomous city, who fear that the historic agreement guaranteeing the former British colony its separate government and legal system may have been dealt a severe blow. The speculation is that all five were kidnapped by Beijing emissaries and are being held in mainland China to suffocate their voices. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Iran says U.S. wants exchange deal for Jason Rezaian *PEN Case List
A spokesperson of the Iranian justice system said that American officials have contacted Tehran in order to sign a prisoner-exchange deal, the Walla news website reports. Iran is holding Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian, a writer for The Washington Post. Iran seeks, in return, the release of Iranian prisoners it says are held in U.S. jails. THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Verdict in Bangladesh blogger case fails to satisfy community
The verdict in which two students have been sentenced to death and six others to prison for their role in the hacking death of an atheist blogger in Bangladesh has largely been rejected by his relatives and the blogger community of the country. A group of Islamist militants killed Rajib Haider in a machete attack in front of his house in Dhaka in February 2013. Nazimuddin, Haider’s father, said the verdict had not served justice. VOICE OF AMERICA

Saudi Arabia executes inmate who shot BBC journalist and cameraman
A Saudi Arabian prisoner convicted of the attempted murder of BBC correspondent Frank Gardner and the murder of his cameraman Simon Cumbers was among the 47 prisoners executed by Saudi Arabia. Saudi national Adel al-Dhubaiti opened fire on the BBC reporter and Mr. Cumbers while the pair were filming for a report on al-Qaeda in the oil-rich kingdom. THE INDEPENDENT

Court sentences Egyptian journalist to 3 years in prison
Mohamed Abdel Moniem, a journalist for the privately owned Tahya Misr newspaper, was charged with protesting without a license and breaching security, public order, and traffic laws. But some local media reported that the newspaper’s board chairman said Abdel Moniem was just covering a protest of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood and was caught by authorities as if he was among Brotherhood protesters. AHRAM ONLINE

Hong Kong activist hits out at Beijing in video over missing booksellers
A young pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong has released a video, which has gone viral, attacking Beijing’s campaign of “political suppression” following the disappearances of five booksellers. Agnes Chow, a 19-year-old student who was a prominent figure during the former colony’s 2014 ”umbrella movement”, posted the five-minute video on Facebook three days after a bookshop owner, Lee Po, became the latest member of Hong Kong’s publishing community to vanish. THE GUARDIAN

This Indian journalist was burned alive for challenging a government official
The freelance journalist Jagendra Singh had reported on his Facebook page that a state cabinet minister participated in a scheme to rob the government of subsidized grain, which he allegedly resold for profit. Not long after that, Singh wrote another post saying he feared for his life. THE WEEK