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

Russian blogger granted political asylum in Ukraine
Dmitry Shipilov, a Russian journalist and blogger who was previously charged with insulting the governor of Siberia’s Kemerovo region in posts on his blog, has been granted political asylum in Ukraine. Shipilov, who first applied for Ukrainian asylum in February 2015 when crossing the border between Belarus and Ukraine, reported the news on his Facebook page. GLOBAL VOICES

Azerbaijani journalist’s lawyer makes cassational appeal *PEN Case List
A cassational appeal was made against the verdict concerning Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, Ismayilova’s lawyer Fakhraddin Mehdiyev told Trend Jan. 18. The lawyer said that the appeal, which calls for a reinterpretation of the law rather than a reexamination of facts, has already been sent to the country’s Supreme Court. The complaint consideration period will be determined in the near future. TREND NEWS AGENCY

Foreign jurists call for release of Chinese lawyers
Twenty prominent lawyers and jurists urged President Xi Jinping to release a dozen Chinese lawyers and legal assistants held in detention in an open letter published in the British newspaper The Guardian. In the letter, the legal professionals, predominantly from Western countries, expressed worries that without legal representation, the detainees could be “at high risk of torture or other cruel and inhumane treatments.” THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Uzbeks say inmate due for release died in 2010
The Uzbek government, lobbied by rights groups and pressured quietly by the U.S. to free a high-profile political prisoner, has finally revealed a secret: He died five years ago. Akram Yuldashev, a prominent religious leader, died in prison in 2010 at the age of 52, Uzbek authorities confirmed. The news came with only a month remaining on Mr. Yuldashev’s 17-year sentence. THE NEW YORK TIMES

Massachusetts activist hospitalized after arrest
A housing rights activist handing out fliers during a Martin Luther King Day breakfast in Worcester, MA was arrested after allegedly assaulting a police officer, and he was then taken to a hospital. Chris Horton, 71, was subsequently charged with assault and battery. Campus police say that he was soliciting members at the breakfast, and event organizers asked for his removal. Witnesses say a fracas ensued. THE BOSTON GLOBE

Terrorism Act incompatible with human rights, court rules
A key clause in the Terrorism Act 2000 is incompatible with the European convention on human rights, a British court of appeals has declared. The decision came in the case of David Miranda, who was detained at Heathrow airport in 2013 for carrying files related to information obtained by the U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden. The court’s judgment on Tuesday will force government ministers to reexamine the act.