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Journalists win 2021 Nobel Peace Prize: “Free press is essential for peace, justice" says UN head

CA, 09 Oct 2021
Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, who braved the wrath of the leaders of the Philippines and Russia to expose corruption and misrule, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, in an endorsement of free speech under fire worldwide.

The two were awarded "for their courageous fight for freedom of expression" in their countries, Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel Committee told a news conference.

"Throughout the world, a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights - and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions. No society can be free and fair without journalists who are able to investigate wrongdoing, bring information to citizens, hold leaders accountable and speak truth to power," United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres said from the U.N. briefing room.

"I congratulate Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize," he said.

Muratov dedicated his award to six contributors to his Novaya Gazeta newspaper who had been murdered for their work exposing human rights violations and corruption.

In an interview with Reuters in Manila, Ressa called the prize "a global recognition of the journalist's role in repairing, fixing our broken world."

Ressa is a 35-year veteran journalist, who said she was tested by years of legal cases in the Antonio Guterresbrought by the authorities over the work of her Rappler investigative website.

The prize is the first Nobel Peace Prize for journalists since the German Carl von Ossietzky won it in 1935 for revealing his country's secret post-war rearmament program.

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