Jailed Belarus rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian group Memorial and the Ukrainian organisation Center for Civil Liberties have been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The winner was announced on Friday in Oslo by Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Who are the Nobel Peace Prize 2022 winners?
Ales Bialiatski: Born on September 25, 1962, in Vyartsilya, Russia’s Karelia, Bialiatski was a resident of Belarus at the time of the award. Bialiatski was one of the initiators of the democratic movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. He has devoted his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development in his home country. He founded the organisation Viasna (Spring) in 1996. Viasna evolved into a broad-based human rights organisation that documented and protested against the authorities’ use of torture against political prisoners. Government authorities have repeatedly sought to silence Ales Bialiatski. Since 2020, he is still detained without trial. Despite tremendous personal hardship, Mr Bialiatski has not yielded an inch in his fight for human rights and democracy in Belarus.
Memorial: Human rights organisation Memorial was established in 1987 by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union who wanted to ensure that the victims of the communist regime’s oppression would never be forgotten. Memorial is based on the notion that confronting past crimes is essential in preventing new ones. The organisation has also been standing at the forefront of efforts to combat militarism and promote human rights and government based on rule of law. During the Chechen wars, Memorial gathered and verified information on abuses and war crimes perpetrated on the population by Russian and pro-Russian forces. In 2009, the head of Memorial’s branch in Chechnya, Natalia Estemirova, was killed because of this work.
Center for Civil Liberties: The Center for Civil Liberties was founded for the purpose of advancing human rights and democracy in Ukraine. It has taken a stand to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and pressure the authorities to make Ukraine a full-fledged democracy. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the centre has engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian population. The centre is playing a pioneering role in holding guilty parties accountable for their crimes.