Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov to receive Nobel Peace award in person

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov to receive  Nobel Peace award in person
Maria Ressa signs the guest book after the press conference with the Peace Prize winners at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, 09 December 2021. Ressa, who is under travel restrictions due to a court case in the Philippines, was granted permission by a Manila court to travel to Norway to receive the Nobel Prize. She will share the prize with Russian investigative journalist Dmitry Muratov. EPA-EFE/Torstein Bøe / POOL NORWAY OUT EPA-EFE/Torstein Bøe / POOL NORWAY OUT

OSLO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize laureates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, recognised for their fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia, will receive their awards at a ceremony in Oslo on Friday.

The journalists won the award at a time when free, independent and fact-based journalism is under fire, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said when announcing the peace prize in October.

They are winning the prize for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace, according to the announcement.

Ressa has been allowed to travel to Oslo for the ceremony while on bail pending an appeal for a conviction of cyber libel. In a court ruling last week Friday, she was granted permission to travel.

The ceremony at Oslo City Hall will go ahead, but will have fewer guests than planned due to government restrictions put in place this week. Norway reported record daily Covid-19 infections on Thursday.

In Sweden, where infection rates are lower than in Norway, organisers in September cancelled the in-person Nobel ceremonies for the second year running.

Instead, the 2021 laureates in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature and Economics, prizes all awarded in Sweden, received their diplomas and medals in their home countries, while the traditional Nobel lectures have all been given online.

Introducing the streamed Literature lecture by winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, Mats Malm, Permanent Secretary of the academy that awards the prize, noted how distance was a part of this year’s prize-giving as well as a key element in the work of the author, who won for stories about colonialism and the fate of refugees in the gulf between cultures and continents.

“At this Nobel lecture, this issue of distance is particularly apparent,” Malm said. “Our author has been recorded in England. This is a distance we will be able to bridge at a future point in time.”

Ressa and Muratov are the first journalists to receive the prize since Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky won the 1935 award for revealing his country’s secret post-war rearmament programme. DM/Reuters 

Reporting by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo, Simon Johnson and Johan Ahlander in Stockholm. Additional reporting by Daily Maverick Reporter)

Watch proceedings live  here from 2pm South Africa time.


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