IPA and Egyptian Publishers Assoc. Call for Authorities to Respect Freedom to Publish

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

The Board of the International Publishers Association (IPA) met in Paris yesterday and together with the 423-member strong Egyptian Publishers Association (EPA), issued a joint declaration calling on Egyptian authorities “to  respect freedom to publish, to investigate the murder of journalist and publisher Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud, and to allow the establishment of an independent Cairo book fair, free of interference.”

The joint IPA-EPA Declaration can be read here.

Bjorn Smith-Simonsen, Chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said:

“All publishers call on Egyptian authorities to protect Egyptian and foreign journalists, writers and publishers and publishing houses in the exercise of their work, to formally end any form of restrictions o book importation and circulation in Egypt, and to launch an immediate and independent investigation of the attacks on journalists, photographers and publishing houses in January and February, specifically to identify and prosecute those responsible for the death of Publisher Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud of Dar Al-Lataef for Publishing and Distribution.”

YoungSuk “Y.S.” Chi, IPA’s President, added:

“The current situation in Egypt, the world’s largest Arab nation, presents a unique opportunity to transform restrictions on publishing and expression. As this transformation occurs, the publishers of the world hope that we will see the emergence of an independent and free publishing system. IPA would also like to congratulate its Egyptian member, the Egyptian Publishers Association, on its establishment of a national freedom to publish committee to promote freedom to publish and address issues related to it. It is the sincere hope of the IPA that publishers associations throughout the rest of the region will soon follow suit.”

Finally, Ibrahim El Moallem, IPA’s Vice President, whose newspaper’s offices were attacked (as we reported last week), said:

“For many years, Egyptians have endured grotesque violations of essential human rights, like freedom to publish and freedom of expression. The current revolution has been initiated by the youth of Egypt who are reclaiming the integrity of the country and are ready, and I believe, able to take control of their own destiny. The current situation in Egypt presents an incredible opportunity for me and my fellow Egyptians to establish the rights we deserve. I am thankful for the support of the world’s publishers and hopeful that publishers throughout the region will take similarly bold actions.”

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.