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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.

To read case studies demonstrating how the Declaration can be implemented in the course of PEN’s work, click the following links to download pdf and word versions.

Read our FAQs here.
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.

Download art worked PDFs of the PEN Declaration on Digital Freedom in English, French and Spanish

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.

Afrikaans: Verklaring oor Digitale Vryheid

Arabic: اقرار “القلم” الدولي للحرية الرقمية

English: Declaration on Digital Freedom

French: Déclaration de PEN relative à la liberté numérique

German: PEN Erklärung über Meinungsfreiheit in digitalen Medien

Icelandic: Yfirlýsing PEN um stafrænt frelsi

Italian: Dichiarazione del PEN sulla Libertà Digitale

Kyrgyz:Эл аралык ПЕН борбордун Санариптик эркиндик боюнча Декларациясы

Macedonian: Декларација за дигитална слобода на Меѓународниот ПЕН

Mandarin: 国际笔会数字化信息自由宣言

Occitan: Declaracion sus la Libertat Numerica

Portuguese: Declaração do PEN relativa à liberdade digital

Russian: Декларация ПЕН о свободе слова в цифровых СМИ

Slovene: Deklaracija PEN o digitalni svobodi

Spanish:Declaración de PEN sobre libertad de expresión en los medios digitales

Turkish:PEN Dijital Özgürlük Bildirgesi

Vietnamese: Tuyên Ngôn của VĂN BÚT QUỐC TẾ về quyền Tự do Phát biểu và Thể hiện Quan điểm qua Truyền thông Kỹ thuật số

Xhosa: IsiBhengezo SeNkululeko YeNkcazelo SePEN

Zulu: Isiphakamiso se-PEN Kwinkululeko Yezokuxhumana Ezidijithali