Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Two Journalists for Safeguarding Freedom of Expression

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The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on Friday to two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.

Ressa, a Philippines journalist, became the first Filipino to win the peace prize, and also the first woman to claim the prestigious award by the Nobel committee this year.

The Swedish award-giving body said in a statement announcing the winners that Ressa uses freedom of expression in her work “to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism” in the Philippines.

In 2012, Ressa became the co-founder of the digital media company Rappler, which put focused critical attention on the “controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign” allegedly committed by the regime of Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte.

Russian journalist Muratov is one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, founded in 1993. He has been the editor-in-chief for the Russian paper for a total of 24 years.

The Nobel committee called it “the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power.”

Since the paper’s founding in 1993, it has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud, and “troll factories” to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia, the committee added.

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