PEN’s Free Expression Digest brings you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related stories from around the web. Subcribe 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

Testimony ends in Ismayilova trial; sentence request tomorrow *PEN Case List
The testimony portion of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova’s trial concluded today in Azerbaijan. The judicial investigation is complete, and a sentence is expected soon. Ismayilova faces up to 12 years in prison for spurious charges that are widely seen as a politically motivated attempt at retribution for her work exposing corruption. OCCRP
  
In Berlin, probe into Netzpolitik inquiry drags on
This month, Germany’s chief prosecutor scrapped a treason probe against bloggers who quoted leaked documents detailing plans to expand Internet surveillance. An inquiry into the case has left questions unanswered. DEUSTCHE WELLE

Chelsea Manning found guilty but spared solitary confinement for contraband
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been found guilty of possessing unapproved reading material by a panel at Fort Leavenworth prison, but will be spared the indefinite solitary confinement that had been among her possible sentences. Over 100,000 people signed a petition in Manning’s defense, and the whistleblower’s attorney said he believes the public support kept her out of solitary confinement. THE GUARDIAN
 
UN expert slams China on chemical blast secrecy
A U.N. human rights expert has criticized China for its lack of transparency in handling a chemical blast in the northeastern city of Tianjin. The disaster might have been prevented or the extent of the damage limited if authorities had provided more information  about hazardous substances. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Foreign reporter caught up in Ecuador unrest can stay: judge
A judge in Ecuador on Monday refused to deport a Franco-Brazilian journalist who was covering protests against President Rafael Correa’s government. Authorities detained Manuela Picq, 38, and scores of others in the demonstrations last Thursday that turned violent. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Update: Journalist Probir Sikdar released on bail
Bangladeshi journalist Probir Sikdar was freed on bail by a district court this afternoon, a day after he was taken on a three-day police remand for questioning. THE DAILY STAR

South Sudanese journalist shot dead in capital
A South Sudanese journalist was shot dead while leaving a newspaper’s office late on Wednesday, his colleagues said. The killing comes just days after President Salva Kiir issued a warning to journalists. REUTERS

Pakistan’s journalists operate in a climate of fear
10 journalists were killed, and 58 were kidnapped, tortured, injured, arrested or detained in Pakistan last year alone. THE INDEPENDENT