Nobel Peace Prize for Rights Activists – POLITICO
The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, Russian human rights organization Memorial and Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.
However, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of Norway’s Nobel committee, was keen to stress that the award was not intended as a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who turned 70 on Friday.
The award was « not against anyone », Reiss-Andersen said in his speech in Oslo, and was « not addressed to President Putin, neither for his birthday nor for anything else ».
Reiss-Andersen said the three co-winners « demonstrate the importance of civil society for peace and democracy » and share the prize founder Alfred Nobel’s vision of « peace and brotherhood » among nations.
Bialiatski founded the human rights group Viasna in 1996 following a brutal crackdown on street protests by authoritarian Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin.
Bialiatski, 60, was detained last July as part of a crackdown on the opposition by Lukashenko. Reiss-Andersen said Bialiatski had « not given an inch for his fight for human rights ».
Belarusian Foreign Minister Anatoly Glaz denounced the honorBialiatski, saying the decisions of the Nobel committee are « so politicized » that Alfred Nobel is « turning in his grave ».
Memorial was founded in the late 1980s to document the political repression carried out under the Soviet Union. Last December, a Russian court ordered Memorial closed, accusing its staff of being « foreign agents ».
The Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties was founded in 2007 as a platform for human rights organizations from former Soviet countries. He organized campaigns pressuring the Kremlin to release political prisoners and documented Russian war crimes during the invasion.