Focus Regions

PEN America works to protect freedom of expression and promote fundamental rights around the world, with particular emphasis in Focus Regions here we have developed expertise and built relationships with people and organizations on the ground. Read below to learn more PEN America’s initiatives to help address distinct regional challenges in these areas and how you can be part of these important efforts.

Many challenges to free expression transcend state and regional boundaries. Learn more about our approaches to these Focus Issues.


The climate for free expression in Bangladesh has significantly deteriorated: Radical Islamist groups have claimed the killings of six bloggers, free thinkers, and their publishers since February 2015, and… More


The space for free expression in Myanmar has widened considerably following the historic November 2015 elections and the installation of a civilian government in March 2016. However, a number… More


Following an attempted coup in July 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the climate for free expression in Turkey has dramatically deteriorated. More than 180 news outlets have been… More

Post-Soviet States

Since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, former soviet countries have had to face severe challenges. The governance and goals of each country have diverged from the… More

United States

The United States proudly stands as a haven for free expression at home and a champion of free speech abroad. PEN America works to ensure that the United States… More


PEN America works to aid and elevate Russian writers fighting limits on free discourse and open access to information, including by hosting independent novelists, poets, and journalists for public… More


The dire situation for free expression in China is one of PEN America’s signature campaigns. China’s extensive censorship apparatus limits speech both within and outside its borders, and although… More


In recent years, addressing the dire situation for free expression in China has been one of PEN America’s signature campaigns. With the world’s largest population, and with increased economic… More