2021-10-08 19:50:27 Navalny Deserved Peace Prize, Russian Nobel Winner Says

Navalny Deserved Peace Prize, Russian Nobel Winner Says

Dmitri A. Muratov, the Russian newspaper editor who received the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, said he would have given the award to another Russian, Aleksei A. Navalny.

Mr. Navalny, the opposition leader imprisoned since January, was widely regarded as the favorite to win the prize. Some of Mr. Navalny’s supporters were outraged by the Nobel announcement on Friday, because they see Mr. Muratov as a figure willing to compromise with the Kremlin rather than one who remains adamantly opposed.

“If I had been on the Nobel Peace Prize committee, I would have voted for the person on whom the bookmakers bet,” Mr. Muratov said at a news conference outside the Moscow headquarters of his newspaper. “However, I believe this individual still has everything ahead of him.” I’m referring to Aleksei Navalny.”

The announcement of the prize came amid a months-long crackdown on Russia’s independent news media. The government has designated popular outlets and even individual journalists as “foreign agents” for allegedly receiving foreign funding, forcing them to include onerous disclaimers alongside all of their content, even on social media.

Mr. Muratov pointed out that accepting the Nobel Prize money could, in theory, lead to him being labeled a foreign agent. Mr. Muratov’s remark about that scenario did not come across as a joke, indicating how far the Kremlin’s campaign against independent news media has progressed.

“I posed this question to government officials today, and they decided to congratulate me,” Mr. Muratov said. “Will we be labeled as foreign agents if we win the Nobel Prize?” “I didn’t get a clear answer.”

Mr. Muratov stated that his award was a posthumous recognition of the six journalists killed while working for Novaya Gazeta; he repeated all of their names twice. The most well-known was Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist who was assassinated in Moscow on October 7, 2006. As he spoke, Mr. Muratov urged the throng of reporters listening to him not to step on the garden that the staff had planted in her honor in front of the newspaper’s offices.

“These Nobel Prizes aren’t given posthumously,” he explained. “I believe they devised this as a means for Anya to obtain the prize through other, older hands.”

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Navalny Deserved Peace Prize, Russian Nobel Winner Says