Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski and two organizations from Russia and Ukraine – the Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties – have been awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
The laureates are honored for “outstanding efforts to document war crimes, human rights violations and abuse of power” in their respective countries.
“For many years, they have advocated the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
Their victory came seven months after Russia launched an all-out war on Ukraine with assistance from Belarus.
The Ukrainian organization the Center for Civil Liberties “is committed to identifying and documenting Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians,” the committee said.
“Working with international partners, the centre is playing a pioneering role in holding the guilty parties accountable for their crimes.”
Founded in 1987, the memorial became one of Russia’s most prominent human rights watchdogs after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is dedicated to exposing the abuses and atrocities of the Stalin era.
The group was shut down by a Russian court last year, dealing a major blow to the country’s hollowed-out civil society organizations.
“This year we are in the position of a war in Europe, which is the most unusual, but also facing a war with global repercussions for people all over the world,” committee chairman Berritt Rice-Anderson told reporters.
Reiss-Andersen said the award was not designed to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin or any other individual, but added that he represented “an authoritarian government that represses human rights activists.”
It’s an explosive story. More details soon…