MANILA, Philippines — United States President Joe Biden and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell have congratulated journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
“I congratulate Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for the much-deserved honor of being named this year’s winners of the Nobel Peace Prize,” Biden said in a statement dated October 8.
Biden said that like many journalists around the world, Ressa and Muratov “have pursued the facts—tirelessly and fearlessly.”
“They have worked to check the abuse of power, expose corruption, and demand transparency. They have been tenacious in founding independent media outlets and defending them against forces that seek their silence. And, for their commitment to the basic principles of the free press—principles that are indispensable to a healthy democracy—they have faced constant threats, harassment and intimidation, legal action, and even, in the case of Muratov, the death of his colleagues,” the US President said.
Biden further said that Ressa, Muratov, and journalists like them “are on the front lines of a global battle for the very idea of the truth.”
“I, along with people everywhere, am grateful for their groundbreaking work to ‘hold the line,’ as Ressa so often says,” Biden added.
In a separate statement, Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, said the EU “welcomes” the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Ressa and Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression and congratulate them wholeheartedly.”
“We fully subscribe to the Nobel Committee’s acknowledgment that freedom of expression is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace worldwide,” said Borrell.
“Maria Ressa has not shied away to demonstrate her commitment to facts as the basis for truth and trust in a democracy. Her dedication to journalism, in the face of numerous ongoing legal actions and her conviction, is an inspiration to all who believe in the importance of free and independent journalism. Her work offers hope not only to the people in the Philippines, but across South-East Asia and the world,” he added.
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.