PEN’s Free Expression Digest brings you a daily curated round-up of the most important free expression-related stories from around the web. Subscribe here. *This mailing list is currently in BETA as we work out the kinks. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

Azerbaijan: Court ‘rushes towards Khadija verdict’ as she wins human rights award *PEN Case LIst
As Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova stood trial in Baku today, she was simultaneously announced a winner of a prestigious activism prize in New York. OCCRP

Fatal beating of Azerbaijani journalist has haunting echoes
Being a journalist can be dangerous in Azerbaijan. Several independent journalists have been killed, attacked, arrested or forced to leave the country in the past few years. The death of Rasim Aliyev on Sunday was the latest case of violence against free press. THE WASHINGTON POST

Saudi Arabia: Prominent writer detained
Saudi authorities detained Zuhair Kutbi, a prominent writer and commentator, on July 15, 2015, following a TV interview in which he discussed his ideas for peaceful reform. Authorities apparently questioned him about his television appearance, which had attracted considerable attention on social media. Saudi authorities have been holding Kutbi, 62, a Mecca-based writer and commentator, apparently without charge, and have not brought him before a judge. HRW

How China’s crackdown on lawyers affects media freedom
For the past month, the Chinese authorities have engaged in a sweeping crackdown on human rights lawyers and the broader “rights defense movement” they represent. Much commentary inside and outside China has, understandably, focused on the campaign’s negative impact on the rule of law. But the assault on this community of attorneys and the manner in which it has unfolded also have important implications for media and internet freedom. THE DIPLOMAT

Free voices are vital ‘partners not threats,’ UN rights expert tells government after Myanmar visit
Expressing concern over curbs to free expression and possible voter disenfranchisement in Myanmar ahead of upcoming elections in November, a United Nations human rights expert today urged the Government to “reconsider its fear and opposition to critical and independent voices,” which are “partners” not “threats.”

No to internet censorship in Argentina
Argentina’s House of Representatives is currently debating a series of reforms to the National Anti-discrimination Act, a bill that was enacted in 1988. The current proposal would require online platforms that allow user comments to monitor and remove any content considered “discriminatory” according to the vague and ambiguous provisions outlined in the proposed reforms. ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION