AltNews founders among favorites for Nobel Peace Prize: TIME report
Alt News co-founders and Indian fact-checkers Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair are among the favorites to win the Nobel Peace Prize 2022, a TIME report said on Wednesday. The report states that the list of 'favorites' is based on nominations of Norwegian lawmakers, predictions from bookmakers, and picks from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
- To recall, Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police in June for a 2018 tweet. He spent weeks in jail based on an FIR by a mysterious Twitter user.
- Later, Uttar Pradesh Police booked him in two separate cases in Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri.
- However, the Supreme Court (SC) granted him bail in all cases filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
What does the TIME entry say?
In an article that lists about 10 'favorites' for the prize, Sinha and Zubair are mentioned alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Russian anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, and even the World Health Organization. The entry says, "They have relentlessly been battling misinformation in India...have methodologically debunked rumors and fake news circulating on social media and called out hate speech."
'Zubair's arrest signaled a new low for press freedom'
Notably, the report quotes statements released by the Editors Guild of India and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) during Zubair's arrest. "AltNews' alert vigilance was resented by those who use disinformation as a tool to polarize the society and rake nationalist sentiments," Editors Guild had said earlier. Meanwhile, the CPJ had termed Zubair's arrest as "another low for press freedom in India."
Zubair spent a month in jail earlier this year
To recall, the Delhi Police's FIR termed Zubair's tweet as "highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feelings of hatred." He was charged with promoting enmity and outraging religious sentiments. The fact-checker spent about a month in jail before being accorded bail by the SC. He has been nominated for the peace prize, along with Sinha, only months after these developments.
Harsh Mander also nominated for the prestigious award
Activist Harsh Mander and his campaign Karwan-e-Mohabbat has also been shortlisted by PRIO for the prize. Director Henrik Urdal writes, "Making a significant contribution to fighting religious extremism and promoting interreligious dialogue is therefore a compelling rationale...A worthy recipient of such a prize is Harsh Mander." Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize 2022 will be announced on October 7 at 11 am local time.