The editor-in-chief of “Nova Gazeta” Dmitry Muratov is the third Russian to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, after the famous human rights defender Andrei Sakharov and former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev. – Let me put it this: it is not my merit. This is “Novaya Gazeta” – Muratov reacted to the news that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
– We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov, he consistently works in accordance with his ideals, he is devoted to his ideals, he is talented, brave and of course this is a high rating – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. He congratulated the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, which for years has openly criticized the Russian authorities, led by President Vladimir Putin.
Muratov, 59, is a philologist by education. After graduation, he completed his basic military service in the Soviet army. Later he worked in the high-circulation newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda”.
Muratov has been associated with the daily “Novaya Gazeta” (formerly known as “Novaya Yezednevnaya Gazeta”) since the 1990s. He was one of the founders of this title, he wrote in its pages. He also published reports from Chechnya, where the Chechen rebels were at war with Russian troops.
Muratov wrote about secret prisons and executions in Chechnya
Novaya Gazeta is a magazine that devotes a lot of space and attention to the situation in Chechnya, including numerous cases of human rights violations in this Caucasian republic, ruled by President Ramzan Kadyrov. The newspaper wrote about “secret Chechen prisons for gays” where they were supposed to be beaten and electrocuted. She also described cases of “secret executions”.
In March this year, “Novaya Gazeta” published the testimony of a former Chechen policeman Suleiman Giezmachmayev, an officer of the Akhmat Kadyrov police regiment [ojca Ramzana – przyp. red.], who told about executions carried out by armed formations under the orders of the Chechen president. Shortly after this publication, an unknown perpetrator sprayed poisonous substance before the editorial office a Russian independent journal.
After publications on Chechnya, Kadyrov even called on the federal authorities in Moscow to “shut down” the newspaper. He claimed that journalists of this title were “agents of Western secret services”.
“Novaya Gazeta” is inextricably linked with the surname Anna Politkowska, a journalist for this journal, a human rights defender and author of books about Chechnya. Journalists noted that Dmitry Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the day after the 15th anniversary of Politkovskaya’s assassination, when the statute of limitations for this crime had expired. The person who ordered the murder of Politkovskaya, shot dead in the staircase of a house in the center of Moscow, has still not been found.
He defended Navalny and repressed journalists
Muratov has spoken repeatedly on matters relating to freedom of speech in Russia. He was one of the signatories of the surety in the investigative journalist case Ivan Golunov, arrested in 2019 on the basis of fabricated evidence from the Russian police, and later acquitted and released.
Muratov also signed the guarantee for Ivan Safronov, a former journalist of the newspapers “Kommersant” and “Vedomosti”, dealing with the issues of defense and the arms industry. Safronov has been in custody since July last year, he is suspected of treason.
The editor-in-chief of “Nowa Gazeta” also signed a petition on the release of a well-known opposition activist and Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny, convicted of allegedly embezzling funds from the French company Yves Rocher.
Muratov honored with the Nobel Peace Prize: I did not answer the phone
– I’ve been working, I’ve been busy. I saw they called from the Nobel Committee, but I didn’t answer. I didn’t even have time to read the entire text. Let me put it this: it is not my merit. This is “Novaya Gazeta”. They are the ones who died in defense of people’s right to freedom of speech. Since they are not with us, they apparently decided that I should tell about it all, said Muratov after awarding the Nobel Peace Prize, quoted by the TASS agency. – These are Igor Domnikov, Yuri Szczekoczikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Nastia Baburowa, Natasha Estemirowa, Stas Markelov – he mentioned. – Here’s the truth. I think so. This is for them – noted the editor-in-chief of “Nowa Gazeta”.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2021 went to the hands of two journalists. In addition to Muratov, she also received it Maria Ressa, investigative journalist from the Philippines.
Muratov said that part of the award would be donated to the Russian Foundation Circle of Good, which helps children with severe and rare diseases, in which he was involved.
Main photo source: SERGEI CHIRIKOV / PAP / EPA