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Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov win Nobel Peace Prize

Philippines journalist Resse, founder of Rappler, and Russian journalist Muratov, editor of Novaya Gazeta, have been honoured “for efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy”.

A combo of file images of Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, left, and of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa (AP)

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for their fight for freedom of expression in their countries.

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The pair were honoured on Friday “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” the chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said.

“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,” she said.

In 2012, Ressa, 58, co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads.

Rappler has “focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign,” Reiss-Andersen said.

Muratov, 59, has meanwhile defended freedom of speech in Russia for decades, under increasingly challenging conditions.

In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has a “fundamentally critical attitude towards power” the committee said, and has been its editor-in-chief since 1995.

“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time,” Reiss-Andersen said.

Kremlin congratulates Muratov

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov congratulated Muratov on winning the prize, hailing him as a “talented and brave” person.

“We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov – he has consistently worked in accordance with his ideals, he has adhered to his ideals, he’s talented and brave. It’s a high appraisal and we congratulate him, ” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters after the prize was announced.

The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and over $1.14 million (10 million Swedish kronor). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

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