Publishers driving Hong Kong’s once booming independent book business are living with the twin threats of financial ruin and arrest by Chinese Mainland police in the wake of the Causeway Bay bookseller kidnappings in 2015, the IPA learned during a visit to the city this month.

The IPA today called on Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to immediately release jailed author Aslı Erdoğan and linguist Necmiye Alpay and to remember his country’s human rights obligations as the state’s relentless purge of dissenters continues unabated.

Monday 17 October was not only set-up day at Frankfurt Book Fair, it also marked a year to the day that Gui Minhai vanished from his holiday home in Thailand at the hands of unidentified agents. For three months his family went without news of his welfare or whereabouts, before he resurfaced in Mainland Chinese police custody.

IPA President Richard Charkin has told a gathering of Turkish publishing executives that the global publishing community stands ready to support them as they strive to weather mounting political pressure in Turkey.

Lee Ji-myung always wanted to write, even though his creativity could only ever have one possible application in his country — to serve the State. Today, the 63 year old is the president of the North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Center, a collective of writers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that have defected to South Korea, and who now devote themselves to ‘prying open the doors’ of their homeland through literature.

The Turkish Publishers Association, an IPA member, has issued the following press release (translated from the Turkish) following the closure of 29 Turkish publishing houses under a sweeping state crackdown in response to the failed July 15 coup. The IPA fully supports the TPA, and urges Ankara to rescind the summary closure of these publishing businesses.

The IPA has told Bangladesh’s Secretary of Culture, Aktari Mamtaz, that responsibility for the spate of violent attacks on publishers and writers lies only with the perpetrators, and not the victims, at a ground-breaking freedom to publish conference, in Dhaka.

International Publishers Association

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