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2021 Nobel Peace Prize won by journalists who challenge Duterte and Putin

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have been recognized for their work against oppression in the Philippines and Russia.

Philippine journalist Maria Ressa gives a statement after posting bail at a regional trial court in Manila in February 2019

Philippine journalist Maria Ressa speaking at a court in Manila in February 2019 after an arrest that sparked international censure and allegations that she is being targeted for criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two journalists speaking out against oppression. Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have jointly won the award to recognize "their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia".

Established in the will of scientist Alfred Nobel in 1895, the Nobel Peace Prize recognizes people who worked toward ending conflict and oppression. 

Ressa is the first Nobel laureate from the Philippines. The 58-year-old journalist co-founded news site Rappler and has been an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's regime, as well as highlighting how social media and fake news are used to manipulate public opinion. In 2020 she was convicted by a Manila court over a Rappler article, a ruling condemned by opposition leader and international bodies including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. 

Muratov is editor-in-chief of Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, described as the most independent news source in Russia for its stand against Vladimir Putin's regime, exposing government corruption, police violence and the use of the Russian military in Chechnya. Six of the paper's journalists have been killed since it was founded in 1993.

Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov attends an interview with AFP in Moscow on March 24, 2021

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov of Novaya Gazeta in Moscow in March 2021.

Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images

"Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda," said Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, who described Ressa and Muratov as "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".

The award will be presented Dec. 10.

This year's Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to American scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discovery of how we perceive temperature and touch. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to scientists Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for discovering a "greener" way to make molecules. And the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah.

Recent recipients of the Peace Prize include the World Food Programme, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and activists Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their work against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.