The Association of American Publishers has awarded the 2022 AAP International Freedom to Publish/ Jeri Laber Award to Venezuela-based publisher Editorial Dahbar. The annual award, established in 2002, recognizes a publisher outside the U.S. who has "demonstrated courage and fortitude in defending freedom of expression."
“Editorial Dahbar has exhibited tremendous courage and commitment in continuing to publish, even as the social and political environments in Venezuela have deteriorated, causing many others to flee the country,” said Terry Adams, chair of the AAP Freedom to Publish Committee and digital and paperback publisher at Little, Brown.
“It is with respect, gratitude, and admiration that we recognize Editorial Dahbar with our International Freedom to Publish Award,” added Maria A. Pallante, president and CEO of the AAP. “In doing so, we are reminded that publishers around the world routinely risk their freedom and safety to bring important works to light.”
Among the challenges the publisher continues to face are the country' economic meltdown, new laws against so-called hate speech, threats from organized crime, harassment of authors, and various forms of governmental pressure.
In a statement, Editorial Dahbar founder Sergio Dahbar said, “It is an honor to receive this award, a recognition for the work we do in difficult conditions and an encouragement to continue defending those who are silenced, who have no voice to express their ideas." As a show of support, Dahbar asks that the international publishing community follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Tiktok under *@editorialdahbar* for updates and news.
Recent recipients of the Jeir Laber Award include Guatemala's F&G Editores in 2021, Bangladesh's Jagriti Publishing House in 2020; South Africa's NB Publishers in 2019; and in 2018 Azadeh Parsapour, a London-based publisher of censored Iranian authors.