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Russian magazine editor wins IPA's Freedom to Publish Prize

A Russian editor who has valiantly addressed the conflicts in the Caucasus - despite a recent kidnapping attempt - is this year's winner of the International Publisher Association (IPA) Freedom to Publish Prize. Israpil Shovkhalov, editor-in-chief of the quarterly magazine "Dosh", won the 2010 prize for his "exemplary courage in upholding freedom to publish." A special award will also go to Turkish publisher Irfan Sanci.

"Dosh" ("Word" in Chechen) has been providing news and analysis from the Caucasus, especially the Chechen Republic, to its 5,000 readers across Europe and Central Asia for nearly eight years. As editor, Shovkhalov has ensured "Dosh" covers human rights angles of the Chechen conflict, such as reporting on the situation of children war victims or reprinting actual letters from those jailed in Russia without trial.

Such controversial topics have put "Dosh" in the firing line. In March, for instance, Shovkhalov and a colleague were briefly abducted on their way to interview Ingushetia's president.

IPA will also be awarding the "2010 IPA Freedom Prize - Special Award" to Turkish publisher Sanci. Sanci is facing nine years in jail for publishing classical literature, such as Guillaume Apollinaire's "Adventures of the Young Don Juan", that the authorities have deemed "obscene".

The awards will be presented on 2 November at the Istanbul Book Fair.

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