Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski and two organizations from Russia and Ukraine – Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties – have won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022.
The winners were honored for “an exceptional effort to document war crimes, human rights violations and abuses of power” in their respective countries.
“They have for many years promoted the right to criticize power and to protect the fundamental rights of citizens,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
Their victory comes seven months after Russia waged a full-scale war against Ukraine, with the help of Belarus.
The Ukrainian group, Center for Civil Liberties, has “engaged efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population,” the committee said.
“Together with international partners, the center is playing a pioneering role in holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
Memorial was founded in 1987 and, after the fall of the Soviet Union, became one of the most important human rights watchdogs in Russia. He worked to expose the abuses and atrocities of the Stalin era.
The group was shut down by Russian courts last year, in a blow to hollowed-out civil society organizations in the country.
“This year we were in a situation of war in Europe, which was very unusual, but also facing a war that has a global effect on people around the world,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, president of the association, told reporters. the Commission. .
Reiss-Andersen said the award was not meant to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin or anyone else. But she added that he represents “an authoritarian government that cracks down on human rights activists”.
It is a story of rupture. More details soon…