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Belarusian activist, rights groups win Nobel Peace Prize

Belarusian activist, rights groups win Nobel Peace Prize
October 07
16:18 2022

Ales Bialiatski, an activist from Belarus, has been awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for championing human rights and democracy.

The activist was awarded the prize alongside two human rights organisations — Memorial and the Center for Civil Liberties.

In a statement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the peace prize laureates have promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens for many years.

“They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy,” the statement reads.

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The committee said Bialiatski has devoted his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development in his home country while government authorities tried to silence him.

“He was imprisoned from 2011 to 2014. Following large-scale demonstrations against the regime in 2020, he was again arrested. He is still detained without trial,” the committee said.

“Despite tremendous personal hardship, Mr Bialiatski has not yielded an inch in his fight for human rights and democracy in Belarus.”

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According to the committee, Memorial compiled information on political oppression and human rights violations in Russia, while the Center for Civil Liberties has engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Memorial grew to become the largest human rights organisation in Russia. In addition to establishing a centre of documentation on victims of the Stalinist era, Memorial compiled and systematised information on political oppression and human rights violations in Russia,” the statement reads.

“The Center for Civil Liberties was founded in Kyiv in 2007 for the purpose of advancing human rights and democracy in Ukraine. The center has taken a stand to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and pressure the authorities to make Ukraine a full-fledged democracy.”

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (about $900,000), will be presented in Oslo on December 10.

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