I was delighted to hear today that the work of Human Rights Defenders and journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov were recognised for their work in defence of the right to freedom of expression, which they undertake in extremely challenging circumstances.
Maria Ressa is the co-founder of independent media outlet Rappler in the Philippines. Rappler is known for its independent reporting on human rights, corruption and alleged abuses of power. Maria Ressa was the subject of a UN Special Procedures communication in 2018, which raised serious concerns over tax evasion charges brought against Ms. Ressa. The charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years came within a context of “a wider crackdown on dissent and critical expression and against civic space in the Philippines”. Since then, she has reportedly faced other criminal proceedings related to her work.
Dmitry Muratov is the co-founder and editor of Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which regularly investigates instances of corruption in the country, as well as human rights abuses alleged to have taken place in Chechnya. It operates in an highly hostile environment. Six journalists working for the publication have reportedly been murdered, including Anna Politkovskaya, who was subject of previous Special Procedures communications.
Congratulations to both.