Nobel Peace Prize to the Belarusian activist Bialiatski and two humanitarian organizations

The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian human rights organization “Memorial” and the Ukrainian human rights association “Center for Civil Liberties”. The recognition was decided in honor of the commitment “in defense of human rights and the right to criticize power, defense of citizens’ rights for the rights of citizens and against abuses of power, for having documented war crimes”. So the Oslo Nobel Committee in the motivation for the prize. “They have made an extraordinary effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuses of power: together they demonstrate the significance of civil societies for peace and democracy”, it continues. On the occasion, the Committee asked Belarus for Bialiatski’s release. This was reported by Berit Reiss-Andersen at the announcement press conference. The Prize, it was explained, is not against Vladimir Putin, but in favor of respect for civil rights.

Bialiatski, a life dedicated to promoting democracy and peaceful development in Belarus

“Ales Bialiatski was one of the initiators of the democratic movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. He dedicated his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development in his country of origin”, is underlined in the motivations of the Nobel Prize. “Government authorities have repeatedly tried to silence him,” it was explained again. “He was incarcerated from 2011 to 2014. Following large-scale demonstrations against the regime in 2020, he was arrested again. He is still detained without trial. Despite enormous personal hardships, Bialiatski has not yielded an inch in his fight for human rights and democracy in Belarus “.

The two awarded humanitarian organizations

“Memorial was founded in 1987 by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union who wanted to ensure that the victims of the oppression of the communist regime were never forgotten” and “after the collapse of the USSR it became the largest organization for human rights in Russia “, noted the Nobel Committee. In addition to creating a documentation center on the victims of the Stalinist era, Memorial then “collected and systematized information on political oppression and human rights violations in Russia”. It is, in essence, the “most authoritative source of information on political prisoners in Russian detention facilities”, added the Committee, recalling that among the founders of the organization there are also the Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and the supporter of human rights Svetlana Gannushkina. As for the Ukrainian organization “Center for Civil Liberties”, it was founded in Kiev in 2007 with the aim of promoting human rights and democracy in Ukraine. “After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Center for Civil Liberties has been committed to identifying and documenting Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population. In collaboration with international partners, the center plays a pioneering role in order to to make the guilty of their crimes answerable “, they reported from Oslo.