Fight for freedom of expression: Nobel Peace Prize for journalists Ressa and Muratov

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize goes to two journalists: Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitri Muratow from Russia. Both had bravely fought for freedom of expression in their countries, so the reasoning of the committee.

The two journalists Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitri Muratow from Russia will receive the Nobel Peace Prize this year. This was announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Both had “bravely” fought for freedom of expression in their countries, said the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, in Oslo. Freedom of expression is “a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace”. Ressa and Muratow “represent all journalists who defend this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press find increasingly unfavorable conditions,” said Reiss-Andersen.

The 59-year-old Muratov is co-founder and former editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta”. In this role he had “defended freedom of expression in Russia for decades under increasingly difficult conditions”. Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who was murdered 15 years ago and has received several awards, also wrote for “Novaya Gazeta”. The murder has not been fully resolved to this day. The newspaper accuses the Russian authorities of having no interest in solving the case for political reasons.

58-year-old Ressa founded the investigative medium Rappler in the Philippines with other colleagues in 2012. She is fighting against “the abuse of power and the growing authoritarianism in her home country,” said Reiss-Andersen. She reported critically on President Rodrigo Duterte’s “controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign”.

Nobel Prize season reaches its climax

The days of the Nobel Prize proclamations have thus reached their climax. The winners in the categories medicine, physics, chemistry and literature had already been announced earlier this week. Among them were two Germans, the meteorologist Klaus Hasselmann and the chemist Benjamin List. Next Monday, the Nobel Prize for Economics will follow, which is the only one of the prizes that does not go back to the testament of the dynamite inventor and prize donor Alfred Nobel (1833-1896).

The Nobel Prizes are endowed again this year with ten million Swedish kronor (around 980,000 euros) per category. They are traditionally awarded on December 10th, the anniversary of Nobel’s death. The Nobel Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize awarded not in Stockholm, but in Oslo. It is considered the most prestigious political award in the world. 329 candidates – 234 personalities and 95 organizations – were nominated for him this year. That was the third largest number of nominees ever. The names of the nominees are traditionally kept secret for 50 years.

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