The Nobel Peace Prize 2021 has been awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.

“Free, independent, and fact-based journalism serve to protect against abuse of power, lies, and war propaganda,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said as she announced the prize in Oslo on Friday.

“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.”

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“Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence, and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines,” said Andersen.

” Dmitry has four decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions,” announced Andersen.

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Ressa is the CEO of Rappler, a news outlet critical of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime, while Muratov heads the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Ressa becomes the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize this year.

It is the 102nd time the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded. Previous winners include Malala Yousafzai, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr, Polish dissident Lech Walesa, United Nations World Food Programme, the Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and four US presidents.