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2021 Nobel Peace Prize goes to Maria Ressa, Dmitry Muratov


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – JUNE 15: Maria Ressa, editor and CEO of Rappler, leaves a regional trial court after being convicted for cyber libel on June 15, 2020 in Manila, Philippines.

Ezra Acayan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.

The Nobel committee praised Ressa and Muratov for “their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.”

“They are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions,” it said in a press release following the announcement on Friday.

Ressa is the founder, CEO and executive editor of Rappler, an online news outlet covering the policies and actions of President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime in the Philippines.

The Nobel committee said she “uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.”

Muratov is the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper that publishes critical coverage of the Kremlin. Novaya Gazeta, founded by Muratov in 1993, is renowned for in-depth exposés of power abuses, human rights abuses and corruption under the Russian regime.

Both Ressa and Muratov have faced attempts by their respective governments to silence their publications.

In November, Filipino authorities accused Ressa and Rappler of tax evasion, claiming the government had enough evidence to indict her.

Authorities had claimed in 2018 that foreign investment into Rappler amounted to prohibited foreign control of a media company, an accusation denied by the organization. In 2019, the Philippines’ Court of Appeals rejected Rappler’s appeal against the claims.

Rappler was banned from covering official presidential events in 2018, with a presidential spokesperson saying Duterte had “lost trust” in the publication.

Rappler continues to operate, with Ressa telling the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2018 that the government’s action against her website were “a politicized decision aimed at stifling critical coverage.”  

Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta was praised by the Nobel Committee on Friday for its coverage of a range of topics, including police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and “troll factories,” as well as the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia.



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