The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organization Memorial, and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.
”[The Peace Prize laureates] demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy,” said Berit Reiss Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honor three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence in the [neighboring] countries Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine,” Reiss-Andersen added and also called on Belarus to release Bialiatski from prison.
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to jailed Ales Bialiatski
Ales Bialiatski is a Belarusian civil leader, who has led an almost thirty-year nonviolent and nonpartisan campaign for democracy and freedom. Bialiatski founded the human rights organization “Viasna” (Spring) in 1996 in response to the controversial constitutional amendments that gave the president dictatorial powers and that triggered widespread demonstrations.
The organization initially provided support for political prisoners and has since become Belarus‘ leading non-governmental organization contributing to the development of civil society in the country through documenting human rights abuses and monitoring elections.
Bialiatiski has been imprisoned since July 2021 for alleged tax evasion, charges which human rights defenders consider to be politically motivated.
The human rights organization “Memorial” was founded in the late 1980s with the mission of preserving the truth and history of mass political repressions in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
Today, it is an umbrella organization based in Russia that highlights human rights abuses, promotes democratic rule of law, and asserts the right to political freedom.
The Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) is a Ukrainian civil society organization established in Kyiv in 2007 with a mission to promote human rights values, democracy, and solidarity in Ukraine and the OSCE region.
CCL is a leading actor in Ukraine in influencing public opinion and public policy, supporting the strengthening of civic activism, and promoting human rights. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, CCL has been working to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population.