2010 Recipients

I. Shovkhalov & V. Kogan-Yasni of DOSH (Chechnya-Russia)

On 2 November 2010, IPA President Herman P. Spruijt formally awarded the 2010 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize to Israpil Shovkhalov and Viktor Kogan-Yasny.

IPA President Herman P. Spruijt (centre) with Abdulla Duduev (left) and Israpil Shovkhalov (right) of the Dosh MagazineIPA President Herman P. Spruijt (centre) with Abdulla Duduev (left) and Israpil Shovkhalov (right) of the Dosh Magazine

On 2 November 2010, IPA President Herman P. Spruijt formally awarded the 2010 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize to Israpil Shovkhalov and Viktor Kogan-Yasny, respectively editor-in-chief and publisher of Chechen Human Rights magazine Dosh, for their exemplary courage in upholding freedom to publish.

The event took place in Istanbul, Turkey, during the Istanbul Book Fair, marking the end of the International Days of the Fair's 29th edition.

The Board of the IPA, meeting in Frankfurt on 6 October 2010, had selected Israpil Shovkhalov, Editor-in-Chief, and Viktor Kogan-Yasny, publisher of the Chechen Human Rights Magazine Dosh, as Prize-winners from among many highly commendable candidates. This year's Award was formally presented on 2 November 2010 by IPA President Herman P. Spruijt during the 29th Istanbul Book Fair, in an event marking the end of the international days of the Fair. A special Award was also given to Turkish Publisher Irfan Sancı (Sel Yanyıncılık/Publishing) by the Chair of IPA's Freedom to Publish Committee, Bjørn Smith-Simonsen. The Awards came following keynote speeches by Turkish publisher Ragip Zarakolu (Belge Publishing) who is also the Chair of the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA), and famous Turkish writer and critic Dogan Hızlan.

IPA President Herman P. Spruijt declared: "Because of its fearless journalism and open commitment to human rights and understanding between the conflicting parties in the Caucasus, the editors, reporters and freelance journalists of the Dosh magazine are being threatened from all sides, and sometimes even harassed and threatened in an increasingly hostile environment. A serious incident as recent as March 2010 underlines the threats. Israpil Shovkhalov and executive editor Abdulla Duduev were on their way to make an interview with the President of the Republic of Ingushetia when they were abducted by unknown assailants who ended releasing them after a while. Through Israpil Shovkhalov and Viktor Kogan-Yansy, we award the 2010 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize to the entire staff of the Dosh Magazine, in deep respect for their courage, and as a The Board of the IPA, meeting in Frankfurt on 6 October 2010, had selected Israpil Shovkhalov, Editor-in-Chief, and Viktor Kogan-Yasny, publisher of the Chechen Human Rights Magazine Dosh, as Prize-winners from among many highly commendable candidates. This year's Award was formally presented on 2 November 2010 by IPA President Herman P. Spruijt during the 29th Istanbul Book Fair, in an event marking the end of the international days of the Fair. The Award came following a keynote speech by Turkish publisher Ragip Zarakolu (Belge Publishing) who is also the Chair of the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA), and the Chair of the Turkish Human Rights Association.

Herman P. Spruijt declared: "Because of its fearless journalism and open commitment to human rights and understanding between the conflicting parties in the Caucasus, the editors, reporters and freelance journalists of the Dosh magazine are being threatened from all sides, and sometimes even harassed and threatened in an increasingly hostile environment. A serious incident as recent as March 2010 underlines the threats. Israpil Shovkhalov and executive editor Abdulla Duduev were on their way to make an interview with the President of the Republic of Ingushetia when they were abducted by unknown assailants who ended releasing them after a while. Through Israpil Shovkhalov and Viktor Kogan-Yansy, we award the 2010 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize to the entire staff of the Dosh Magazine, in deep respect for their courage, and as a salute to the passion, and the integrity that they so marvellously demonstrate". The full speech of the President is available here.

The other short-listed candidates nominated by IPA members, individual publishers and human rights' organisations were: Bui Chat (Giay Vun Publishing, Vietnam) and Rosspen Publishing (Russia), which dares to publish on Stalinism in a context where Stalism is being rehabilitated in Russia.

The aim of Dosh is to bring news, analysis, reports and commentaries from Chechnya and the entire Caucasus region. With regards Chechnya, the magazine is one of the very few press institutions that reports and brings stories from both sides of the on-going, tragic conflict.

Dosh is widely read and receives a lot of letters praising the work of its editors and journalists, but at the same time they are met with increasing hostility from the authorities and large parts of society. The importance of such a magazine, and the fact that it has being regularly published over a relatively long period (almost eight years), should not be underestimated. It has become an institution, an island of human dignity and real news in a time when Russians, as well as members of the ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation, suffer from the power play among the authorities and ignorance from the main media outlets. The fact that Dosh is read by both Russians and Caucasian people in and outside Russia, as well as the perspective of its articles give in itself a hope for the future of an open society in Russia. The loss of Dosh could mean that a more brutal andinhuman Russian society is coming closer.

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