The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to defend freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace.
“Ms Ressa and Mr Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. 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.
Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta. Since 1995 he has been the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power. The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media. Since its start-up in 1993, Novaja Gazeta 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 editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize, hopes that this will help to change the situation with foreign media agents in the Russian Federation. Dmitry Muratov admitted that he did not expect such a decision of the Nobel Committee and dropped the call from Norway as “unwanted.”
“I am laughing. I didn’t expect it at all. I’ve got madness here. I saw a call from Norway, but I considered it an unwanted call. Here’s what I can say: we will take the rap with this award for Russian journalism, which they are now trying to repress. That’s all. We will try to help people who are now recognized as agents, who are now being spread rot and are being expelled from the country. ”
For many, the awarding of the prize to Muratov came as a surprise. Judging by the public reaction, most people expected the Nobel Prize this year to go to Alexei Navalny or Maria Kolesnikova.