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Dar Al Jadeed Publishing House (Lebanon)

On 22 November 2021, the International Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish Committee announced Lebanese publishing house Dar Al Jadeed to receive the 2021 IPA Prix Voltaire. The Beirut-based company was chosen from a shortlist of five nominees, who have all been recognized for their exemplary courage in upholding the freedom to publish and enabling others to exercise their right to freedom of expression.

Dar Al Jadeed Publishing House was cofounded in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2000 by Lokman Slim and his sister, Rasha al Ameer, to publish cultural works free from ideological conflict or partisanship. In February 2021, Lokman Slim was murdered after a campaign of threats and intimidation over his efforts to bring greater freedom of expression and open dialogue to Lebanon.

Bodour Al Qasimi, President of IPA said: Through the Prix Voltaire, the International Publishers Association stands with individuals and organizations which share our commitment and devotion to freedom to publish as a fundamental right. Publishers, and our colleagues throughout the publishing value chain, need to know that they have the collective support of the entire industry behind them when they face unjust persecution and censorship. This year’s Prix Voltaire laureate paid the ultimate price standing up for freedom of expression as an enabler of tolerance and conflict resolution in Lebanon. His loss is a loss to the entire international publishing community.

Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee added: Dar Al Jadeed has experienced first-hand the dangers that can come with a commitment to freedom of expression and the free communication of ideas. Their bravery is an inspiration. 

Dar Al Jadeed cofounder Rasha Al Ameer received the Prix Voltaire in person at Guadalajara International Book Fair, on 30 November. The ceremony also featured a keynote from Mexican journalist and Univision anchor, Jorge Ramos.

The IPA also announced a Special Award for Chinese author Li Liqun (pen name Li Huizi), an Independent Chinese PEN Center member who took his own life on 23 July 2021.

On the Special Award, Kristenn Einarsson said: The Freedom to Publish Committee only gives a Prix Voltaire Special Award for cases we feel are particularly noteworthy. Li Liqun’s efforts as a writer, political commentator and public intellectual were widely respected. The Committee is proud to recognize his work for freedom of expression. 


About the 2021 Prix Voltaire

This year’s shortlist also included independent Belarusian publishers, Mikado Publishing (Turkey), Samir Mansour Bookshop for publishing (Palestine) and Raul Figueroa Sarti (Guatemala).

Prix Voltaire nominees are publishers – individuals, groups or organizations – who stand firm on freedom to publish, be it as longstanding defenders of these values or having recently published works despite pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment from various sources.

About the IPA Prix Voltaire

Prix Voltaire nominees are publishers – individuals, groups or organizations – who stand firm on freedom to publish, be it as longstanding defenders of these values or having recently published works despite pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment from various sources. 

Previous prize recipients include Liberal Publishing House of Vietnam, Egyptian Publisher Khaled Lotfy, Swedish Hong Kong publisher Gui Minhai (2018),Turkish publisher Turhan Günay and publishing house Evrensel, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (2016) and Belarusian publisher Ihar Lohvinau (2014).

The IPA 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.

Nominees have usually published controversial works amid pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment, be it from governments, other authorities or private interests. Alternatively, they may be publishers with a distinguished record of upholding the values of freedom to publish and freedom of expression. For the purposes of the IPA Prix Voltaire, the definition of ‘publisher’ is an individual, collective or organization that provides others with the means to share their ideas in written form, including via digital platforms.

The IPA Prix Voltaire, 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 recognizes.

The sponsors of the 2020 IPA Prix Voltaire are, in alphabetical order:


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Prix Voltaire Prizes

Prix Voltaire 2022

Same Sky Books (Thailand)

Prix Voltaire 2021

Dar Al Jadeed Publishing House (Lebanon)

Prix Voltaire 2020

Liberal Publishing House (Vietnam)

Prix Voltaire - 2019

Khaled Lotfy (Egypt)

Prix Voltaire – 2018

Gui Minhai (Sweden/Hong Kong)

Prix Voltaire – 2017

Jointly awarded to Turkish publishers Turhan Günay and Evrensel

Prix Voltaire – 2016

Raif Badawi (Saudi Arabia)

Prix Voltaire – 2014

Ihar Lohvinau (Belarus)

Prix Voltaire – 2012

 “Zapiro” (South Africa)

Prix Voltaire – 2010

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

Prix Voltaire – 2009

S Bensedrine, N. Rijba, M. Talbi, Founders of OLPEC (Tunisia)

Prix Voltaire – 2008

Ragip Zarakolu (Turkey)

2007 IPA FTP Prize Special Award

Anna Politkovskaya and Hrant Dink

Prix Voltaire – 2007

Trevor Ncube (Zimbabwe)

Prix Voltaire – 2006

Shalah Lahiji (Iran)

International Publishers Association

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