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October 9, 2021, 12.01 AM – Two journalists who fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia received the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, October 8.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo has awarded the Peace Prize to Maria Ressa, the CEO and executive editor of Manila-based news outlet Rappler, and Putin critic Dmitry Muratov. The award also makes Ressa the first Filipino to win a Nobel Prize.

“Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia,” committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen announced.

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“At the same time, 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,” she added.

Who are Ressa and Muratov?

Ressa, 58, is the founder and CEO of Rappler, an online news site combating misinformation and documenting the human rights abuses carried out by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's administration as part of his brutal war on drugs.

She was convicted of online libel in 2020 under the country’s controversial anti-cybercrime law, which critics say is merely a guise for “cyber-authoritarianism.”

Muratov was the editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta from 1995 to 2017. Known for its investigative journalism covering corruption and crime, seven of the paper’s journalists have been murdered since 2000.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called Novaya Gazeta the “only truly critical newspaper with national influence in Russia today,” amidst President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on dissent.


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