On 11th January IPA announced the shortlist for the 2018 Prix Voltaire. Find out more about the courageous people fighting for freedom to publish around the world starting today with Azadeh Paraspour.
Launched in December 2012 in London, Parsapour’s Nogaam Publishing uses crowdfunding to publish and promote Persian digital publishing, which are then made available for free under Creative Commons License.
Since its launch it has given life to 41 titles that were subject to censorship in Iran. Today, Iranian readers have free access to these books spanning a diverse range of topics such as underground music, LGBT, women, relationships, war, censorship, extremism and immigration. Nogaam supports Iranian authors, advocates freedom of speech, promotes Farsi-language digital publishing and provides easy access to invaluable Farsi books.
Lewis Medjo is the managing editor of the weekly newspaper La Détente Libre in Cameroon. He is well known for his reporting on human rights and good governance issues. Because his reporting was often critical of the Cameroonian government, he and his family were regularly harassed by government agents.
Gui Minhai worked as a Hong Kong-based publisher and bookseller who specialized in producing fast-moving political potboilers that were critical of the Chinese leadership through his Mighty Current publishing house and Causeway Bay Bookstore. He was kidnapped by Chinese agents from his holiday home in Thailand in October 2015, resurfaced in Chinese custody several months later, and remains in incommunicado detention in China without legal or consular assistance.
Gui Minhai has spent much time contributing to the free circulation of ideas, participating in human rights conferences and sitting on the board of Independent Chinese PEN. His treatment at the hands of the Chinese authorities has had a fatal chilling effect on Hong Kong’s once vibrant and audacious publishing industry.
Check back next week to learn about another Prix Voltaire nominee.