Khaled Lutfi, imprisoned Egyptian bookseller and publisher, was announced last week as being the recipient of the International Publishers Association (IPA) 2019 Prix Voltaire, which supports defenders of freedom to publish.
EIBF wishes to join the IPA in its support for Khaled Lutfi and its call on President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to grant Khaled Lutfi a presidential pardon.
EIBF firmly supports freedom of expression, as this is the backbone of the publishing and bookselling industries.
More on Khaled Lutfi
On February 4th, according to reports, Khalid Lutfi, founder of Cairo’s Tanmia Bookshop and Publishing, was sentenced to five years on charges of divulging military secrets and spreading rumours for having distributed an Arabic translation of the book The Angel: The Egyptian Spy who Saved Israel by Uri Bar-Joseph. The case started when Lutfi signed an agreement with Arab Scientific Publishers to publish an Egyptian edition of the book.
Tanmia Bookshop opened in 2011 and later spawned a highly respected publishing house. The publishing house ran Arabic translations of a number of acclaimed authors: in 2016 Lutfi told Ursula Lindsey of The Arabist that two of his most popular titles were by George Orwell and Stephen Hawking. Tanmia also published original works in Arabic, including a children’s book version of Mahmoud Darwish’s poem ‘Think of Others’, which won an Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature.