PEN International promotes literature and freedom of expression and is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies—unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations.
PEN recognizes the promise of digital media as a means of fulfilling the fundamental right of free expression. At the same time, poets, playwrights, essayists, novelists, writers, bloggers, and journalists are suffering violations of their right to freedom of expression for using digital media.
Citizens in many countries have faced severe restrictions in their access to and use of digital media, while governments have exploited digital technologies to suppress freedom of expression and to surveil individuals. The private sector and in particular technology companies have at times facilitated government censorship and surveillance.
In 2012 at the PEN International Congress in Gyeongju, Korea, PEN members approved the Declaration on Digital Freedom (linked below), a concise statement of PEN’s position on threats to free expression in the digital age. For more information read the press release from the 78th PEN International Congress.
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PEN International has compiled resources for journalists, writers and human rights defenders who want to improve their online security or bypass censorship controls. Click here to read more.
PEN members have translated the Declaration into various languages, linked below; we encourage you to translate it into your own and continue raising awareness about the need to protect and promote linguistic diversity.