Indian Fact-Checker Duo Among Choices For Nobel Peace: TIME Report

According to Time, the co-founders of fact-check site AltNews, Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha, are among those who could be considered to win the Nobel Prize.

Mohammed Zubair (left) was arrested this year for a 2018 tweet.

New Delhi:

Fact-checkers Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha have been listed among popular choices to win the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize by Time magazine.

According to Time, the co-founders of fact-check site AltNews, Mr Sinha and Mr Zubair, are among those who could be considered to win the prize based on nominations that were made public via Norwegian lawmakers, predictions from bookmakers, and picks from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

The two "have relentlessly been battling misinformation in India" amid accusations of discrimination against Muslims "and have methodologically debunked rumours and fake news circulating on social media and called out hate speech", the publication said.

Mr Zubair was arrested in June this year for a 2018 tweet that was "highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feelings of hatred" as per a Delhi Police First Information Report (FIR). The Delhi Police charged him for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and deliberate acts to outrage religious sentiments.

The fact-checker's arrest sparked global outrage, prompting the American non-profit Committee To Protect Journalists to issue a statement saying, "another 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."

Mr Zubair was released from Delhi's Tihar Jail a month later after being granted bail by the Supreme Court.

There are about 343 candidates - 251 are individuals and 92 are organizations - in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022.

Although the Nobel Committee does not announce the names of nominees, neither to the media nor to the candidates, a Reuters survey has found Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, broadcaster David Attenborough, climate activist Greta Thunberg, Pope Francis, Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe, and Myanmar's National Unity government are among those nominated by Norwegian lawmakers.

"Neither the names of nominators nor of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize may be divulged until the start of the year marking the 50th anniversary of the awarding of a particular prize," reads the Nobel Committee's rules on nominations for the peace prize.

Besides Mr Sinha and Mr Zubair, Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky, The UN Refugee Agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Russian dissenter and Vladimir Putin critic Alexey Navalny are also contenders for the peace prize.

The winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced at 11 am local time on 7 October in Oslo.

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