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IPI kicks off World Congress 2010 with launch of "Words of Freedom: A Tribute To 60 IPI World Press Freedom Heroes"

(IPI/IFEX) - VIENNA, 10 September 2010 - The Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI), the world's oldest global press freedom organisation, on Friday launched its landmark book, "Words of Freedom: A Tribute to 60 IPI World Press Freedom Heroes". The launch marks IPI's 60th year defending press freedom around the world.

'Words of Freedom' contains the remarkable stories of 60 journalists - men and women from across the globe - who refused to be brought to their knees by those seeking to silence them, and who through their extraordinary courage and commitment have made an enormous contribution to the struggle for press freedom.

A number of them paid for their defiance with their lives. Many more have faced brutal assault, arrest, imprisonment and torture.

The book serves as an urgent reminder of the fundamental value of press freedom, and of the threats it faces. In the first eight months of 2010, 52 journalists lost their lives. Since IPI began its Death Watch count in 1997, a total of 959 journalists have been killed.

Of the 60 IPI World Press Freedom Heroes, 50 were honoured ten years ago at IPI's World Congress in Boston, in a ceremony marking IPI's 50th year defending press freedom around the world. Since then, a further ten have been named to make a full 60, for IPI's 60th anniversary year.

All 60 Heroes will be honoured at an Award Ceremony & Dinner at Vienna City Hall on Monday 13 September, as part of IPI's 11-14 September World Congress in Vienna and Bratislava.

Speaking at the press conference, IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills said: "In producing this book on 60 IPI World Press Freedom Heroes, IPI pays tribute to all journalists around the world, including the many, many unsung heroes who day in day out risk life and limb to bring us the truth. This book pays tribute not just to individuals but to the profession they so bravely and tenaciously cling to. It offers not just a catalogue of suffering but a message of defiance and hope."

IPI would like to thank Bank Austria UniCredit for its exclusive support for the book.

Copies are available throughout the IPI World Congress, or can be ordered online or through the IPI Secretariat.

A copy signed by all IPI Press Freedom Heroes present at the Congress costs 65 Euros; An unsigned copy can be purchased for the price of 45 Euros.

All of the proceeds generated through sales of the book will go into IPI's Press Freedom Fund.

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