Dharamsala: The Dalai Lama on Saturday congratulated Nobel Peace Prize winners Maria Rassa and Dmitry Muratov, both journalists, for standing up to autocratic forces in their countries under challenging circumstances.
Resa and Muratov jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday by the Sweden-based foundation.
The Dalai Lama said he was pleased to learn that journalists in both the Philippines and Russia have been awarded this year’s award for their efforts to protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
He said the Nobel Committee honored these two as representatives of journalists everywhere who put themselves at risk to stand up for this ideal in challenging circumstances.
“Journalists have an important role to play in promoting human values and a sense of social and religious harmony,” he said, adding that he greatly admired the courage of both the journalists.
“Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are vital to being able to promote harmony and friendship between nations, disarmament and a more peaceful world order,” the spiritual leader said.
Resa, a Filipino journalist, has been working for years to expose abuse of power and corruption in her country, especially under the current Duterte regime which is known for its brutal anti-drug crusade.
In 2012, he founded Rapper, a digital media investigative portal that he still heads.
Muratov became one of the founders of Novaja Gazeta in 1993 and has been its editor since 1995.
Over the years, Muratov has worked in Russia to expose corruption, police abuse, “troll factories”, illegal arrests and election fraud.