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IPA pressure prevents segregation of publishers at Tehran international book fair

(IPA/IFEX) - The following is a 16 May 2007 IPA press release:

PUBLISHER PRESSURE REUNITES TEHRAN BOOK FAIR

Geneva (16/05/2007) - A successful campaign spearheaded by IPA has led to the reunification of the 20th Tehran International Book Fair. The Iranian authorities had initially threatened to segregate domestic and international publishers.

IPA welcomes the cancellation of the separation plans of the 20th Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF), held from 2-12 May 2007, by the Iranian authorities. After receiving news of the Iranian authorities' intentions to separate the international publishers from the domestic publishers, IPA had raised its deepest concerns with the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance in March 2007. At a meeting with an official from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in late March in Paris, the Iranian authorities confirmed it was their intention to proceed with the segregation plan, citing decaying exhibition buildings as the main reason for separating domestic and international publishers. IPA made it clear that such an argument was not acceptable, adding that international publishers would see no point in participating in a segregated book fair as exchange with our Iranian colleagues would be hindered.

Ana Maria Cabanellas, IPA President, declares: "We are satisfied with the Iranian authorities' decision to cancel the separation plans of the 20th TIBF. Our trade is based on the free exchange that exists between local and international publishers. A book fair where obstacles are raised between domestic and international publishers ceases to be a book fair. We therefore hail the unity of the Tehran book fair and hope this unity will be long-lasting."

The International Publishers Association is the global non-governmental organisation representing all aspects of book and journal publishing worldwide. Established in 1896, IPA's mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness for publishing as a force for cultural and political advancement worldwide. It is an industry association with a human rights mandate. IPA currently has 65 member associations in 53 countries.

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