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Iranian Woman Awarded IPA Publishers' Freedom Prize

Source: International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)

The International Publishers' Association (IPA) has announced that Shahla Lahiji, the first female publisher in Iran, has been awarded the inaugural IPA Publishers' Freedom Prize.

Shahla Lahiji

The award, worth 5,000 CHF (US$4,000), honours individuals or organisations anywhere in the world that have made a notable contribution to the defence or promotion of the right to freedom of expression.

Born in 1942, Lahiji became the first female publisher in Iran when she founded her publishing house, Roshangaran, in 1983. Since then, she has published over 200 titles, many of them works by women. Lahiji is also a writer and a translator.

Lahiji has been harassed and targeted on many occasions over the years for her work as a publisher, says IPA. In 2000, she was jailed for several months on charges of "acting against national security" after giving a speech at a cultural conference in Berlin about political reform in Iran. In 2005, her publishing house was fire-bombed by unknown assailants, resulting in the destruction of many manuscripts.

On 21 September, IPA presented the award to Lahiji at the Göteborg Book Fair in Sweden. The theme of this year's fair is freedom of expression and its programme is coordinated in partnership with IPA and International PEN.

For more information, visit:
- IPA:
- Göteborg Book Fair:


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