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.


In the past few years, there has been a serious deterioration in the climate for free expression in Bangladesh. Radical Islamist groups have claimed the killings of at least… More


Following the historic November 2015 elections, in which the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a decisive victory, and the establishment of a civilian-led government in March… More


Over the past year, the climate for free expression in Turkey—already under sustained threat—has dramatically deteriorated. Following an attempted coup in July 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the… More

Post-Soviet States

Nearly three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, free expression in the literary, journalistic, and artistic spheres remains under significant pressure in many of the… More

United States

The United States proudly stands as a haven for free expression at home and a champion of free speech abroad. The First Amendment’s protections for free speech, assembly, and… More


As political constraints tighten on free expression in Russia, divergent views are increasingly unwelcome on any platform. The years of President Vladimir Putin’s dominance have brought Kremlin control to… More


Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Additionally, a mix of other restrictions in the country serve to limit free expression in both… 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