The Nobel Prize for Peace
In 1895 Alfred Nobel, the inventor of TNT left in his will his wish to award five separate prizes annually to “those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind”. One of those prizes is The Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded this year to two reporters, Dimitry Muratov and Maria Ressa, “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”.
Maria Reesa is a Filipino journalist and co-founder of Rappler and a strong contester of Rodrigo Duterte`s regime. She has been targeted with unfair Cybercrime laws critiqued by the international community in spite of this she still fights on. Much more to the north in Russia, Dimitry Muratov is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper known for criticizing Putin`s administration and reporting on government corruption.
The overwhelmingly negative response of the Philippines
It may be true that a minority of liberal outlets hailed Reesa for her win and that even the Government acknowledged her win but this does not change the fact that later the same government reminded the public that she is a convicted felon and the Manila Standard stated that the prize is undeserved. In 2012 she was convicted on the basis of a law that was adopted months after she ran a controversial article, the case was later dismissed but she still faces many charges such as tax evasion.
The Government constantly accuses her of writing “fake news” and being funded by the CIA. Furthermore, the Nobel Committee was directly accused by the Philippines media as an effort to undermine the credibility of its Government. Sadly specialists say that the Nobel Prize rarely has any influence in matters like this.
What Dimitry`s win represents for Russian opposition
Muratov initially passed off the calls from a norwegian number, which was the Nobel Prize organization, to later find out that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In a later statement he dedicated the prize to his colleagues who died for reporting on sensitive topics, “Igor Domnikov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Stas Markelov, Anastasia Baburova, Natasha Estemirova – these are the people who have today won the Nobel Prize,”
The decision of the Nobel Committee to award the prize to Muratov left a significant part of the Russian opposition surprised as they were expecting Alexei Navalny, strong public opposer of the Putin administration who put his life on the line and is serving a prison sentence for his work. This may lead to a schism in the opposition and do more good to the Putin administration , as reported by The New York Times.