Oslo: The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. They were honoured for their fight for freedom of expression. Both Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have fought also for democracy in their respective countries. The winners were announced Friday by Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” said Reiss-Andersen. “Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time,” Reiss-Anderson added.
Ressa in 2012 co-founded ‘Rappler’, a news website. It has focused ‘critical attention on the (President Rodrigo) Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign,” the Nobel committee said. She and ‘Rappler’ ‘have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse’.
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Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper ‘Novaya Gazeta’ in 1993. ‘Novaya Gazeta’ is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power,” the Nobel committee said.
“The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media,” the committee added.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov congratulated Muratov on winning the prize, hailing him as a ‘talented and brave’ person.
“We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov. He has consistently worked in accordance with his ideals, he has adhered to his ideals, he’s talented and brave. It’s a high appraisal and we congratulate him,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters after the prize was announced.
The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.
The Nobel Committee had awarded Monday the prize in physiology or medicine to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries into how the human body perceives temperature and touch.
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded Tuesday to three scientists whose work found order in seeming disorder, helping to explain and predict complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan were named as laureates of the Nobel Prize for chemistry Wednesday. The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded Thursday to UK-based Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, who was recognized for his ‘uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee’.