Nobel Peace Prize to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus civil-rights moverstext_fields
Oslo: Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian civil rights campaigners were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2022 on Friday. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement that the awardees showed "consistent efforts in favour of humanist values, anti-militarism and principles of law", IANS reported.
Belarus-based human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties were the recipients of the awards.
The Nobel Committee said that Bialiatski was one of the initiators of the democracy movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. His organisation Viasna (Spring), which he founded in 1996, was in "response to the controversial constitutional amendments that gave the president dictatorial powers and that triggered widespread demonstrations", IANS quotes the committee.
The organisation aided imprisoned protestors and their families. Viasna evolved into a broad human rights organisation in the following years. It documented and fought the torture of political prisoners by authorities.
The Belarusian government repeatedly attempted to silence Bialiatski, and he was imprisoned from 2011 to 2014. He was arrested in 2020 for demonstrations against the administration and still remains in detention without trial.
The Russian human rights organisation Memorial was formed in 1987 by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union to ensure the victims of the communist regime's oppression would never be forgotten. Among its founders, there were Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov and human rights advocate Svetlana Gannushkina.
After the Soviet Union fell, Memorial grew to become the largest human rights organisation in Russia. It documented victims of the Stalinist era along with compiling and systematising information on political oppression and human rights violations in Russia.
Memorial is the most authoritative source of information on political prisoners in Russian detention centres.
It gathered verified information on abuses and war crimes perpetrated on the civilian population by Russian and pro-Russian forces during the Chechen wars.
The chief of Memorial's branch in Chechnya, Natalia Estemirova, was killed for her work.
Regarding the Center for Civil Liberties, it was founded in Kyiv in 2007. It aimed to advance human rights and democracy in Ukraine. It took the stand of reinforcing Ukrainian civil society and pressured the authorities to make Ukraine a full-fledged democracy.
It worked on documenting Russia's war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population after Moscow started the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The committee said that the three were great champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence in the neighbour countries Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. It added that they "revitalised and honoured Alfred Nobel's vision of peace and fraternity between nations, a vision most needed in the world today", IANS quoted.