Founders of the fact-checking website Alt News, Mohammed Zubair, and Pratik Sinha and Indian author Harsh Mander are one of the favourites to win this year’s esteemed Nobel Peace Prize award for the year 2022, TIME magazine reported.
According to TIME, Zubair and Pratik’s contribution to debunking the spread of fake news in India, identifying hate crimes, speeches and most importantly fighting against the right-wing extremist organisations as well as political parties whose main target is to demonise minorities, are one of the many reasons for their selection and probability of winning the prestigious award.
The fact-checkers, especially Zubair has been on the radar of majoritarian right-wing ideologues for a long time. On June 27 this year, Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police for a tweet he had posted in 2018.
The arrest received a lot of flak from the journalist community in India as well as abroad. Many termed the arrest as vendetta towards Zubair, mostly because of his religious identity.
“It is apparent that AltNews’ alert vigilance was resented by those who use disinformation as a tool to polarize the society and rake nationalist sentiments,” said a June 28 statement from the Editors Guild of India.
Zubair’s arrest was globally condemned as an attempt to suppress freedom of speech in the country. He was finally released after spending three weeks in jail.
The Peace Prize was established by the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel in 1895. The Peace Prize is awarded to those “who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”
Along with Zubair and Pratik, others on TIME’s favorites list include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the 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 Thunberg, Tuvalu’s foreign minister Simon Kofe, English broadcaster, biologist, natural historian and author Sir David Attenborough and the Myanmar National Unity Government.