This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two journalists who have faced the wrath of the regime by challenging authoritarian regimes in the Philippines and Russia.
Norway’s Nobel Institute announced Maria Resa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for the 102nd Nobel Peace Prize at a news conference in Oslo on Friday.
Nobel Committee chief Barrett Reiss-Andersen said the award was given to them for their “courageous” role in fighting for freedom of expression, one of the prerequisites for democracy and lasting peace.
“Democracy and freedom of the press are increasingly under threat in the world; Maria Resa and Dmitry Muratov represent the journalists who are fighting for this ideology. ”
In 1935, the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected a journalist for the Nobel Peace Prize for the first time since the German journalist Karl von Ozietsky.
“Free, independent, objective journalism is a bulwark against abuse of power, lies and propaganda,” said Berit Reis-Andersen.
Resa and Muratov will share the one million Swedish kronor of the Nobel Prize equally.
What have they done?
The Nobel Committee says this year’s winner, Maria Resa, has used the power of freedom of expression to expose abuses of power, state violence and authoritarian rule in her country, the Philippines.
Resa, co-founder of Rapapeller, a digital media company in the Philippines founded in 2012, is still leading the investigative media.
“Resa has established himself as a journalist and CEO of Rapalar as a fearless fighter for freedom of expression,” the Nobel Committee said.
During President Rodrigo Duterte’s rule, Radhappler took a bold stand to highlight the killings in the controversial anti-drug campaign in the Philippines.
The Nobel Committee said, “The death toll was so high that the anti-drug campaign turned into a war against the people of our country. Resa and Radhapler also highlighted how social media has been used to spread false news, to discredit the opposition, and to intentionally influence public opinion. ”
In an interview, Resa, 56, said it was insane to fight against the government. I didn’t want to do that. But that’s what I had to do to fulfill my responsibility. ”
Maria Resa was also arrested in a case in the Philippines last year. Many see the case as a test of the freedom of the press in the Philippines.
Maria Resa said in an immediate response that she was the first Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and that she was overwhelmed.
“It showed that nothing is possible without real events. A world without real images means a world without truth and without faith.”
Journalist Dmitry Muratov is the first Russian citizen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
Muratov, 59, is the editor-in-chief of the country’s investigative newspaper Novaya Gazette. Gorbachev helped establish the paper with his Nobel Prize in 1990. A computer bought with that money is still on display in the newspaper’s office.
The optimism with which the Novaya Gazette began its journey in the new Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union did not take long to fade. Since Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia in 1999, critics and dissidents have been increasingly silenced.
Even in this situation, Muratov and Novaya Gazeta have fought for free speech. They have published news of corruption and irregularities in the Kremlin.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least six journalists from the Novaya Gazette have been killed trying to reveal the truth.
In an interview with the Telegram Channel podium on the news of the Nobel victory, Muratov said he did not expect it.
He described the Nobel Prize as a “response” to Russia’s repressed journalism.
Why are they?
The Nobel Prize in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economics is awarded annually for the contribution of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel to research, innovation and the welfare of humanity.
In his will, three issues have been mentioned as eligibility for the Peace Prize. These are to establish unity in the country, to succeed in disarmament and to inspire peace.
The World Food Program was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for its role in the fight to build a world free of hunger.
According to the BBC, the Nobel Committee has nominated 329 individuals and organizations for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Rights group Reporters Without Borders, the World Health Organization, as well as Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager who became a star in the environmental movement, were on the list.
Explaining why the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose Maria Resa and Dmitry Muratov for the award, Berit Reis-Andersen said the Nobel Committee believes that freedom of expression and the free flow of information can ensure that people have a clear idea of the situation.
“It is important to ensure these rights first in order to ensure democracy and protection from war and conflict. This time Maria Resa and Dmitry Muratov are being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for emphasizing the importance of protecting these fundamental rights. ”
The Nobel Committee says, “At this time, without freedom of expression and a free press, it is difficult to successfully advance the cause of friendship, disarmament and good governance around the world.” So at