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Khaled Lutfi awarded 2019 Prix Voltaire

The International Publishers Association (IPA) has awarded imprisoned publisher Khaled Lutfi the 2019 Prix Voltaire, which supports defenders of freedom to publish.

Lutfi is the founder of Cairo-based Tanmia Bookshop and Publishing, and in February this year was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of divulging military secrets and spreading rumours, for having distributed an Arabic translation of Uri Bar-Joseph’s The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel.

The case against Lutfi started after he signed an agreement with Arab Scientific Publishers to publish an Egyptian edition of the book.

The IPA’s Freedom to Publish committee chair Kristenn Einarsson said the international publishing community stands with Lutfi. ‘We must support Lutfi’s fellow publishers in Egypt so that his imprisonment does not lead to fear and self-censorship in a country of such rich literary heritage.’

IPA general secretary José Borghino called on president of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to grant Lutfi a presidential pardon.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, last year’s prize was awarded to missing Chinese-born Swedish publisher and bookseller Gui Minhai.


Category: International news