Nobel Peace Prize goes to three ‘champions of human rights’ from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine

Friday - 07/10/2022 09:04 Author: Editors Desk Source: France 24
The Nobel Peace Prize was on Friday awarded to jailed Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski and two human rights NGOs: Russia’s Memorial and Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties.
Nobel committee calls for release of peace prize winner Ales Bialiatski – video
Nobel committee calls for release of peace prize winner Ales Bialiatski – video

The three winners “have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy”, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, told reporters.

The Nobel Committee called for the release of Bialiatski, who is currently jailed in Belarus on tax evasion charges.

“Our message is an urge to the authorities in Belarus to release Mr. Bialiatski and we do hope this will happen and that he can come to Oslo and receive the honour bestowed upon him," Reiss-Andersen said.

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said Friday that the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Bialiatski was "recognition for all Belarusians fighting for freedom and democracy".

Bialiatski's wife meanwhile told AFP she was "overwhelmed with emotions. I express my deep gratitude to the Nobel Committee and the international community for recognising the work of Ales, his colleagues and his organisation."

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday hailed the Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize as "unswerving defenders of human rights in Europe".

"Ales Bialiatski, the Memorial NGO in Russia and the Centre for Civil Liberties in Ukraine: the Nobel Peace Prize pays tribute to unswerving defenders of human rights in Europe. As peacemakers, they can count on France's support," Macron wrote on Twitter.


Memorial was awarded the Peace Prize less than a year after it was ordered to shut down during a wave of repression against critical voices.

The group, which emerged as a hopeful symbol during Russia's chaotic transition to democracy in the early 1990s, was dissolved late last year in a sign of the tightening authoritarian tendencies under President Vladimir Putin.

Memorial established itself as a key pillar in civil society by battling to preserve the memory of victims of Communist repression and campaigning against rights violations linked to Russia's brutal wars in Chechnya and beyond.

>> Read more: In Russia, the battle for the memory of Soviet repressions

The Center for Civil Liberties, the Ukrainian NGO founded in 2007, has engaged in efforts to identify and document war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

 Keywords: Nobel Peace Prize

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