Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian activists

Oslo: The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian civil rights activists for “their consistent efforts in favor of humanist values, anti-militarism and the principles of law,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement on Friday.

The recipients of the award are the human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky from Belarus, the Russian human rights organization “Memorial” and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.

According to the Committee, Bialiatsky is one of the initiators of the movement for democracy that arose in Belarus in the mid-1980s.

He founded the Vyasna (Spring) organization in 1996 in “response to controversial constitutional amendments that gave the president dictatorial powers and that sparked widespread demonstrations,” the statement said.

“Vyasna” supported the detained demonstrators and their families. In the years that followed, Vyasna became a wide-ranging human rights organization that documented and protested the authorities’ use of torture against political prisoners.

The committee alleged that Belarusian government authorities repeatedly tried to silence Bialiatsky, resulting in his detention from 2011 to 2014.

After large-scale demonstrations against the regime in 2020, he was arrested again.

He remains in custody without trial.

Meanwhile, the Russian human rights organization Memorial was founded in 1987 by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union who wanted to ensure that the victims of the communist regime’s oppression were never forgotten.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and human rights activist Svetlana Ganushkina were among the founders.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Memorial became the largest human rights organization in Russia. In addition to creating a document center for the victims of the Stalin era, the Memorial collected and systematized information about political oppression and human rights violations in Russia.

Memorial became the most authoritative source of information about political prisoners in Russian prisons. The organization is also at the forefront of efforts to combat militarism and promote human rights and governance based on the rule of law.

During the Chechen wars, Memorial collected and verified information about abuses and war crimes committed against the civilian population by Russian and pro-Russian forces.

In 2009, the head of Memorial’s branch in Chechnya, Natalya Estemirova, was killed for this work.

The Center for Civil Liberties was founded in Kyiv in 2007 to promote human rights and democracy in Ukraine.

He took a stand to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and pressure the authorities to turn Ukraine into a full-fledged democracy.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Center for Civil Liberties has engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population.

In cooperation with international partners, the center plays a pioneering role in seeking accountability for those guilty of their crimes.

Honoring “the three outstanding defenders of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence in the neighboring countries of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine,” the Committee said this year’s laureates had “revitalized and honored Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace and brotherhood among nations, a vision which is most needed in the world todayā€¯.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *