News of the Day: 8 October 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia on Friday reported 27,246 new coronavirus cases and a new record high of 936 daily deaths from Covid-19.

The Moscow Times: Bellingcat, as well as the independent Caucasian Knot news website and journalists including BBC Russian correspondent Andrei Zakharov and Dozhd journalist Daniil Sotnikov, appeared on the Justice Ministry’s lists of media outlets and individuals “performing the functions of a foreign agent.”  

RFE/RL: A court in western Russia ordered the arrest of an opposition activist for posting a video that depicts President Vladimir Putin and two other figures being sentenced to death in a mock trial.

The Guardian: Campaigning journalists from the Philippines and Russia have won the 2021 Nobel peace prize as the Norwegian committee recognised the vital importance of an independent media to democracy and warned it was increasingly under assault.

RFE/RL: Russia’s Novaya gazeta is best known for its investigative reports on corruption and rights abuses. In a country ranked as one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists, its reporting has earned international accolades but has also put its reporters in considerable danger. Six of the publication’s journalists and contributors have been killed since 2000 and others attacked.

RFE/RL: The Nobel Committee described it as the “most independent newspaper in Russia today,” and underlined Muratov’s work to “safeguard media freedom” in his country.

The Moscow Times: “Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said during the presentation on Friday.

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is delighted that the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to two prominent and courageous journalists. This is a tribute to all those who work tirelessly for freely and independently reported news and information, RSF says.

Amnesty International: Responding to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia respectively, Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said:  “Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize win is a victory not only for independent, critical journalism in The Philippines and Russia, but for the fight for justice, accountability and freedom of expression all over the world. “For more than three decades, Maria Ressa has worked tirelessly as a journalist in the Philippines, carrying out vital investigative reporting on corruption, abuses of power, and human rights violations in President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly so-called war on drugs. As the co-founder of Rappler, a highly lauded and uncompromising online news site, she’s opened the world’s eyes to the brutality and pervasive impunity in the Philippines. Put simply, she is a global icon for press freedom. Dmitry Muratov has been a rock for free media in Russia, his newspaper producing hard-hitting, fearless journalism in the face of mortal danger in the country’s increasingly perilous press environment. He is one of the few who continue to hold power to account. We salute the indefatigable professionalism and courage not only of Mr Muratov, but of all those Russian journalists who have suffered while carrying out their professional duties.  The Russian and Philippines authorities must take note of Dmitry Muratov’s and Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize win and end their relentless attack on press freedom.”

Human Rights Watch: The Norwegian Nobel committee’s decision to award its Peace Prize to the journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia is a shot in the arm for the countless journalists who’ve been fired at, sued, attacked and savagely trolled in their line of work around the world. But more than that, it’s recognition of the critical role journalism plays in upholding human rights and democracy at a time when autocratic governments are vigorously undermining them. Social media companies have also been playing a dangerous role.

Civil Rights Defenders: This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Maria Ressa and Dimitry Muratov for their work in protecting freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee’s decision as it recognises those who fight for freedom of expression.

The Moscow Times: A new Russian drag competition has sparked controversy among the country’s LGBT community, with activists saying the YouTube show ignores issues LGBT people face in Russia. 

Human Rights in Ukraine: The traditional OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw did not take place this year with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken laying the blame squarely on Russian obstruction.  While Russia has formally denied this, it does appear that a major sticking point was that Moscow was prevented from once again sending fake NGOs to push Russian disinformation about occupied Crimea.

The Guardian: The third of October 1993 was a beautiful day in Moscow. The sky was blue, the streets were busy and the air was chilly. I was a US paralegal living my best 23-year-old life, with a head full of dreams and a job at an international law firm.

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