The European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) joins the wider book industry in condemning the horrible attack on author Salman Rushdie and City of Asylum co-founder Henry Reese.
This attack is not only an abominable act of violence against a human being, but also an act of violence against the right to free expression, the written word, and human dignity. EIBF co-President Jean-Luc Treutenaere commented: ‘Through the diverse range of booksellers EIBF represents, we are painfully aware of the dangers and threats that authors, as well as publishers, and booksellers may face for disseminating the written word, while they uphold the right to freedom of expression. Books are, and will always remain, invaluable sources of culture, education and knowledge, which foster the exchange of ideas, and help people become critical thinkers and active members of society’.
Freedom of expression and open and free public debate are the building blocks of healthy democracies, and yet, especially after last weekend’s atrocious attack, EIBF recognises that freedom of expression is a vulnerable right that must always be safeguarded and advocated for.
Booksellers will continue to play their part in the fight for a world where authors’ ideas can be freely disseminated, and discussed without fear.
Our thoughts and considerations are with Rushdie, Reese, and their families during this difficult time. We wish them health and healing.