Human Lives Human Rights: The journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo for highlighting the bravery and outstanding achievements of media.
Maria Ressa, the co-founder of Rappler, and Dmitry Muratov, who co-founded Novaya Gazeta, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo for their defense of freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.
In an increasingly polarized world where facts and truth are under relentless attack, this is for the first time in almost a century, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists.
Rights Groups congratulated Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for receiving this prestigious award, adding that it was a momentous day for these champions and defenders of human rights and press freedom.
Meanwhile, the human rights organization Amnesty international, called on the Philippine government to immediately drop all charges against Ressa, who was almost prevented from attending the ceremony in Oslo because of the trumped-up and bogus cases against her.
Russian authorities must stop harassing and intimidating media outlets by labeling them undesirable organizations or foreign agents, the group added.
It is peoples’ freedom of information that is threatened and rights that suffocate, when media freedom gets suppressed.
It is here when, journalists are killed, attacked, imprisoned, denied visas, threatened with extradition, silenced; in media outlets forced by governments to close, or in monopolies and special interests capturing media diversity, in journalistic enquiry being stripped of impartiality, accuracy, and objectivity.
Maria Ressa, former journalist Reynaldo Santos and Rappler’s directors have collectively faced threats and multiple lawsuits and investigations, under the Duterte administration, including alleged tax violations and violations of the prohibition against foreign control over mass media.
In June 2020, Maria Ressa was found guilty of “cyber libel” after being convicted under the controversial Philippines Anti-Cybercrime law. For this conviction and if she is found guilty under a myriad of other charges she faces up to sixty years in prison.
Dmitry Muratov co-founded Novaya Gazeta in 1993 and has been its editor ever since. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least six of its journalists, including Anna Politkovskaya, have been murdered during the course of their professional duties.
Dmitry Muratov and his Novaya Gazeta colleagues have over the decades provided essential public interest information to Russia society, in the continuing face of attacks, threats and imprisonment.
In recent months an increasing number of media organizations and journalists have been designated “undesirable organizations” or “foreign agents”, either halting their work or imposing severe administrative and financial constraints.