Focus Regions

PEN America works to protect freedom of expression and promote fundamental rights around the world, with particular emphasis in Focus Regions where we have developed expertise and built relationships with people and organizations on the ground. Read below to learn more about 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.

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

Eurasia page header


PEN America supports champions of free speech in Russia and throughout the post-Soviet space and actively opposes the persecution of writers, journalists, and artists. More

Lina and Walid Al-Hathloul holding signs at the 2019 PEN America Literary Gala in New York

Saudi Arabia

PEN America's Saudi Arabia advocacy focuses on ensuring justice for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and calling for the release of imprisoned writers. More

PEN Mexico panel


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

Protest in Turkey


Following an attempted coup in July 2016, the climate for free expression in Turkey has dramatically deteriorated. PEN America’s advocacy centers on writers and journalists who are in detention… More

PEN Myanmar Panel


Following the historic November 2015 elections, hopes were high that the space for free expression in Myanmar would widen considerably. However, under the new government, journalists continue to be… More

PEN Bangladesh Panel


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


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