Advocacy actions

Communiqué from the Tunisian Publishers’ Union, 21 January 2011

Publishing countries : Tunisia

Extract from the Tunisian Publishers’ Union’s communiqué, published on 21 January 2011

“The Tunisian Publishers’ Union, whose members met on Friday, 21 January, congratulates the Tunisian people, is proud of its glorious revolution and pays tribute to its martyrs, while declaring its unwavering support for the popular resistance”.

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Communiqué in support of Txalaparta Publishing following attacks on “El manual del torturador español” and on freedom of expression, December 2010

Paris, December 2010

It is with great concern that the International Alliance of Independent Publishers has noted the recent censorship of a book in Spain, and the threats made against the independent publishing house Txalaparta, member of the Alliance’s Spanish-speaking network.

The book in question, “El manual del torturador español” (The Spanish Torturer’s Manual) – by Xabier MAKAZAGA denounces the torture carried out by the Spanish police. The book was withdrawn from a public library (in the Basauri town council), following a request by a political party and certain Madrid newspapers to remove it from all libraries where it was made available to readers. However the practices described in this book support the accusations already made in reports by Amnesy International and by the UN Recorder on Human Rights. The campaign against this book has already been publicly denounced by public librarians. Furthermore the Basque Country Human Rights Observer (Behatokia) sent a letter of protest to Frank de la Rue, Special Recorder on Human Rights and Freedom of Expression with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, whose headquarters are in Geneva.

The International Alliance of independent publishers, whose objectives include defending freedom of expression and denouncing all forms of censorship, also has a duty to respond publicly when attacks or infringements are directed – for ideological reasons – against independent publishers, whose very job it is to encourage the dissemination of ideas and to contribute to forging the identity of people and their culture.

One has only to examine Txalaparta’s publishing catalogue to appreciate the vast range of literary works and essays which constitute an undeniable contribution to bibliodiversity, while reflecting a clear editorial policy.

This is why we independent publishers are appealing to the Spanish authorities to respect the work of independent publishers and to encourage respect for fundamental rights and democracy.

We also appeal to independent publishers, booksellers, librarians and readers to follow the development of this matter closely and to express their support to Txalaparta Publishing in order to defend and respect the right to information that is true and diverse.


The Spanish-language network of the International Alliance of independent publishers

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Preferential postage rates for books: urgent for Latin America, August 2010

Massively used by small publishing firms to distribute their products to bookstores, libraries, and readers, the postal service is the most popular means of circulating books throughout the world. However, the absence, suppression or questioning of special postage for books is an impediment to bibliodiversity in many countries.
In Latin America, with a huge territory to cover and limited circulation, a large share of publishers ensures the delivery of their products themselves. For these publishers, preferential postage rates for shipping books are all the more vital.

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Haiti, let’s mobilise for the long haul, February 2010

The International Alliance of Independent Publishers calls on all international solidarity organisations to mobilise in Haiti. The Alliance will do do its outmost to support Haitian book professionals in the long-term, particularly librarians, publishers and booksellers, by joining forces with existing and future stakeholders in Haiti.

The importance of culture should be considered in the reconstruction process. In the Haïtian context, where symbolism has a special place, reinventing Haïti also involves supporting the arts and culture, particularly books and authors that promote the people’s complex and fascinating identity. A people cut off from its culture is a dead people.

Rodney Saint-Éloi, author and publisher member of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers

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Solidarity with Iranian publishers, August 2009

Publishing countries : Iran

In view of the worrying situation in Iran and the attacks on freedom of expression, the publishers of the Alliance wish to express their solidarity with their Iranian colleagues. They demand the right to publish freely and call for increased cultural and editorial exchanges with Iran.

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Towards a Europe protecting bibliodiversity?, April 2009

As the official campaign for the next European elections is being launched, the Alliance has decided to get involved in a positive fashion by formulating three proposals that would be very simple to implement.

These proposals have furthermore been published on the website http://challengeforeurope.blogactiv.eu, with dozens of others, on the initiative of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation in the framework of its “What kind of Europe do we want?” program. Let us hope this impressive corpus of proposals will be a profitable inspiration to the EU’s future elected representatives!

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Freedom of publishing under threat in Canada?, April 2008

An incredible censorship attempt is endangering the very existence of the publisher Écosociété (Quebec – Canada); more than 60 publishers from 30 countries have declared their undivided support for the Quebec publisher and are calling on the pinstigators of the “Noir Canada” affair to respect the rights of freedom of expression and publication.

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The book sector in Morocco: a preoccupying situation, February 2008

As the Casablanca International Book Fair (February 9 to 17, 2008) opens its foors in Morocco, the Alliance of Independent Publishers wishes to express its deepest concerns with regard to the situation of independent book retail and, more generally, of the entire local book industry.

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Call to French-language authors, publishers and institutions, March 2007

Publishing countries : Ivory Coast

African literature in French is today better represented and better known in Europe than in Africa, where its distribution remains hampered by many obstacles. However, there are solutions, which require the mobilisation of various stakeholders in the book industry. One solution is co-publishing, based on a joint trade agreement. The publication of “L’Ombre d’Imana” by Véronique TADJO, a groundbreaking example of pan-African co-publishing, proves that it is possible, through joint action, to create the conditions necessary for a (re)appropriation by Africa of its literature. To make this possible, the Alliance is appealing to everyone, authors, publishers and institutions alike, to join forces and promote the bibliodiversity at the heart of the francophone spirit. This appeal is endorsed by many authors and book industry professionals.

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Call to the readers, March 2006

The role played by books in spreading ideas, analyses, imaginary scapes and proposals, in educating and informing citizens, is essential to understand the challenges of our times, to know oneself and others. Read what follows (in French)

See the list of signatories

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