This October 7, the Nobel Peace Prize recognized the importance of civil society and democracy by jointly awarding the Belarusian activist Alés Bialiatski and the Russian organizations Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties.
According to the Nobel Committee, the winners were honored for their outstanding efforts to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuse of power in their respective countries, which are at war.
Through its consistent pursuit of humanistic values, antimilitarism and legal principles have revitalized and honored Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace and brotherhood among nations.
One of the winners, Bialiatski, was one of the initiators of the democratic movement in Belarus in the 1980s and founder of the Vesná organization in 1996, which has documented and protested against the authorities’ use of torture on political prisoners. For a long time they have wanted to silence him and he has been detained without trial since 2020.
For its part, Memorial was created in 1987 by human rights activists in the Soviet Union and after its collapse, it became the main human rights organization in Russia. In addition, not only was he in charge of creating a documentation center for the victims of Stalinism, but he did the same with those who have suffered “political oppression and human rights violations.”
However, in December 2021, the courts liquidated the organization and its human rights center for creating a “false image of the Soviet Union as a terrorist state” and for having concealed information about its role as a “foreign agent” and “justifying the extremism and terrorism”.
Finally, the Center for Civil Liberties was founded in kyiv, Ukraine, in 2007, with the purpose of “strengthening Ukrainian civil society and putting pressure on the authorities to make Ukraine a full-fledged democracy.” Some time ago, after the Russian military intervention last February, he engaged in the identification and documentation of Russian war crimes against the civilian population.
On the other hand, Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the committee, revealed to journalists that the award is not intended to send a message to President Vladimir Putin or anyone else, but she did stress that their governments “represent authoritarian regimes that suppress the human rights”.
An important fact of this award is that a third of the 103 Nobel Peace Prizes awarded in Nobel history have been shared by two or three people, but never before had it been shared between one person and two organizations.
It is worth mentioning that the winners will share 10 million Swedish crowns, which is around 882,000 dollars. The Nobel Peace Prize is the only one of the six awards that is awarded and delivered outside of Sweden, in Oslo, at the request of Alfred Nobel.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the 2022 #NobelPeacePrize to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organization Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties. #NobelPrize pic.twitter.com/9YBdkJpDLU
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 7, 2022