The 2024 IPA Prix Voltaire Shortlist is:

  1. Osman Kavala, Turkey
  2. Dušan Gojkov, Balkan Literary Herald, Serbia
  3. Aslambek Ezhaev, Ummah Publishing, Russia
  4. Andrej Januskevic, Andrej Januskevic Publishing, Belarus
  5. Samir Mansour, Samir Mansour Bookshop for Printing and Publishing, Palestine


IPA President Karine Pansa commemorated the announcement at the event, stating: These five publishers have demonstrated remarkable resilience and should serve as an inspiration to all of us. They remind us why what we do is so important.

Chair of the IPA Freedom to Publish Committee Kristenn Einarsson, added: This year’s shortlist shows how important publishers are to guaranteeing freedom of expression and the role they play in the freedom to read. We thank them all for their bravery.

Of special mention at the announcement was a tribute to author and human rights activist Victoria Amelina, who attended last year’s Prix Voltaire Ceremony to receive the IPA Prix Voltaire Special Award on behalf of children’s author and poet, Volodymyr Vakulenko. On 1 July, Victoria Amelina succumbed to wounds suffered during the bombing of Kramatorsk on Tuesday 27 June.

The 2024 IPA Prix Voltaire ceremony will take place at the 34th International Publishers Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico from 3-6 December 2024. The Prix Voltaire is unique in honouring the freedom to publish, without which many forms of freedom of expression would be impossible. Publishers who provide authors with the tools to disseminate their written ideas assume the same risks as the writers themselves. The honor, which comes with a CHF 10,000 prize, is made possible by generous contributions from sponsors, all of which are publishing houses and organizations that share the values that the IPA Prix Voltaire embodies.

An introduction of the Prix Voltaire Shortlist nominees can be found below.

Osman Kavala, Turkey

Osman Kavala is a Turkish businessman dedicated to promoting cultural exchange, human rights, and democratic values. Among other initiatives, he co-founded Ana Publishing and İletişim Publishing, supporting young Turkish authors, and serves on the board of Aras Publishing, known for its work in Armenian literature. Detained in October 2017, he was sentenced to life in prison in April 2022 on charges many consider politically motivated.

Dušan Gojkov, Balkan Literary Herald, Serbia

Dušan Gojkov is a Serbian radio director, playwright, poet, novelist, composer, and publisher. He founded the Balkan Literary Herald in 1994 and has authored and published numerous issues and books. A fierce defender of free expression and Secretary General of PEN Armãn, Gojkov has advocated for the safety of threatened authors and moving them to safety. Despite opposition, he continues to publish and promote literary freedom.

Aslambek Ezhaev, Ummah Publishing, Russia

Aslambek Ezhaev founded Ummah Publishing in 2002, publishing translated Islamic literature respected by both Muslim and secular religious scholars in Russia. Following repeated bans of books by courts as “extremist,” Mr. Ezhaev was arrested in April 2021 on “charges of financing Islamic terrorists.” Despite the Freedom of Conscience public committee support for Mr. Ezhaev, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison in February 2023.

Andrej Januskevic, Andrej Januskevic Publishing, Belarus

The Januskevic Publishing House challenges oppression of the freedom to publish in Belarus, where publishers face harassment, fines, and investigations when publishing books critical of the government. Director Andrej Januskevic has faced arbitrary detention, book seizures and books labeled by the government as “extremist.” In 2023 he was forced to flee to Poland, where he has promised to continue publishing and has opened a bookstore in Warsaw.

Samir Mansour, Samir Mansour Bookshop for Printing and Publishing, Palestine

The Samir Mansour Bookshop for Printing and Publishing has been a critical part of the local community in Gaza for over 20 years, publishing Palestinian authors and housing thousands of books in various languages. Destroyed in 2021, rebuilt, re-opened in 2023, the bookshop has been damaged again in the Israel-Hamas war. The bookshop continues to visit evacuation centers and provide books and gift packages to displaced children.