Fact-checkers Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair, co-founders of AltNews, are reportedly among the favourites to win the Nobel Peace Prize. According to a report by TIME, the duo has “methodically debunked rumours and fake news” and called out hate speech.
It also pointed out Zubair’s arrest in June for a meme he had shared four years ago, leading to condemnation by journalists from across the world.
“Journalists Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair, co-founders of Indian fact checking website AltNews, have relentlessly been battling misinformation in India, where the Hindu nationalist BJP party has been accused of frequently stoking discrimination against Muslims. Sinha and Zubair have methodologically debunked rumors and fake news circulating on social media and called out hate speech,” stated the TIME report.
The report stated that Zubair’s arrest was seen as retribution for his fact-checking work. It quoted the Editors Guild of India that said that AltNews’ alert vigilance was resented by “those who use disinformation as a tool to polarise the society and rake nationalist sentiments”.
It also pointed to the demand to release Zubair by the Committee to Protect Journalists that called the arrest a new low for press freedom in India, “where the government has created a hostile and unsafe environment for members of the press reporting on sectarian issues”.
Other names, according to TIME, that are favourites to win the Nobel for peace are Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the World Health Organization, Russia’s jailed opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunburg, Tuvalu’s foreign minister Simon Kofe, broadcaster and biologist David Attenborough, and Myanmar National Unity Government.
Uyghur activist Ilham Tohti, Hong Kong pro-democracy advocate Nathan Law Kwun-chung, the Kyiv Independent, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) are also some of the other contenders believed to be favourites for the Nobel peace prize.
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