Congratulations to Ressa and Muratov for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize win

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) congratulates journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for being awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Ressa, who is the first Filipino Nobel Laureate, courageously reported on Rodrigo Duterte’s colossal human rights violations in the Philippines. Despite the thousands of extrajudicial killings in the country, which also target journalists and trade unionists, and despite the closure of the country’s biggest television network—not to mention the numerous cases filed against her and the unceasing threats of incarceration—Maria stood her ground and held the line in defending the Filipinos’ right to be informed through a free and independent press.

BWI lauds Maria’s strong support for labour rights in the Philippines, including the rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression. We personally witnessed her commitment to human rights and democracy when the Council of Global Unions (CGU) organised a mission in the Philippines in 2019 to probe the country's extrajudicial killings that target trade unionists. 

Like Maria, Muratov is a staunch defender of the free press. Known as the man who built Russia’s “bravest newspaper,” his Nobel Peace Prize award is a big victory for the country’s independent press, which has been under constant attack from Vladimir Putin’s regime. Muratov’s truth-based journalism has been the Russian people’s primary source of important information and news events that are often subjects of state censorship.  

BWI joins the whole world in celebrating these courageous journalists who stood up against modern tyrants. Because of their heroism and sacrifices, the world became more aware of the struggles faced by trade unionists and workers in their respective countries, which in turn strengthened international working-class solidarity and unity. 

An independent and free press is an indispensable ally of the broad trade union movement. By speaking truth to power, we challenge unjust political and economic structures that confine workers to a life of poverty, and build the democratic edifice of a new and better world. 

Once again, BWI congratulates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov!