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Imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi’s wife begs for Saudi pardon on Ramadan *PEN Case List
On the eve of Ramadan the wife of imprisoned Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, is petitioning Saudi King Salman to stay his punishment of 1,000 lashes. Badawi has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for promoting public debate on his website. IBTIMES

Baku 2015: Why is Unicef supporting Azerbaijan’s European Games?
While NGOs and journalists are barred from Azerbaijan, the ‘official child rights organization’ of the first European Games continues to lend its name to the competition. THE GUARDIAN

Azerbaijan: UN rights office urges Government to ensure free expression and association
Voicing concern over “a shrinking democratic space” in Azerbaijan as human rights defenders, journalists and government critics are increasingly being deprived of their liberty, the UN rights office today called on the authorities to galvanize efforts to safeguard the freedoms of expression and association in the country. UN NEWS CENTRE

Amnesty International accuses Myanmar government of intimidating media
Myanmar’s government is using threats, harassment and imprisonment to intimidate the media ahead of national elections later this year, Amnesty said Wednesday. Efforts to restrict freedom of expression have intensified over the past year, with at least 10 members of the media jailed in the last 12 months. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why mass surveillance violates international law
A new groundbreaking report from the UN undermines the lawfulness of the NSA’s invasive snooping. The ability to seek and receive information is a fundamental human right enshrined in international law. In order to fully exercise this right—particularly amidst growing state surveillance—people must be able to communicate securely. SLATE

Russian journalist beaten and detained by Ukrainian separatists
Pavel Kanygin, a correspondent for the independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, was beaten and briefly detained in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. Kanygin said he was held for five hours and interrogated by members of the separatist group who refer to the region as the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). THE GUARDIAN

Turkey: Senior EU politician calls for ECtHR involvement in newspaper editor-in-chief’s 21-month prison sentence for a tweet
European Parliament member Rebecca Harms has strongly condemned a prison sentence handed down to Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş for allegedly insulting President Erdoğan in one of his Twitter posts, saying that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) must be involved in Keneş’s case as well as those of other journalists. TODAY’S ZAMAN

Egypt arrests journalist from home without charges
Egyptian national security forces arrested Mohamed Battawy, a journalist at newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm, without charges on Wednesday. Khaled al-Balshy, head of journalism freedom committee at the Journalists Syndicate, told Egypt Independent. AL BAWABA