Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Belarusian activist and Russian and Ukrainian NGOs | War in Ukraine
In prison since July 2021, Ales Bialiatski is the fourth personality in history to be crowned with the Nobel of peace in detention.
In a highly symbolic choice in favor of “peaceful coexistence”, the Nobel Peace Prize winner on Friday crowned a trio of “human rights champions” in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, three of the main actors in a Ukrainian conflict marred by atrocities.
The prestigious prize was jointly awarded to Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, in prison in his country, to the Russian NGO Memorial – hit by a disbanding order from the Russian authorities – and to the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties which ;works to document Russian war crimes in the ongoing conflict.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honor three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence in the three neighboring countries of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, said its president Berit Reiss-Andersen.
In doing so, the committee has, as expected, wanted to mark the occasion in the face of the war in Ukraine which has plunged Europe into the most serious security crisis since the Second World War.
But the five members of the Nobel Committee refrained from directly criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had launched the invasion of his Ukrainian neighbor on February 24.
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Asked if it was a poisoned gift for the strongman of the Kremlin who is celebrating his 70th birthday today, Ms Reiss-Andersen said that this price is not ;was not directed against him, but that his authoritarian regime, like that of Belarus, had to stop repression.
“This award is not for Vladimir Putin on his birthday or otherwise, except that his government, like the Belarusian government, is an authoritarian government that suppresses human rights activists.
— Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
She also urged Belarus to release Ales Beliatski, 60-year-old founder of the Viasna (Spring) Human Rights Center. He had been thrown into prison again during the massive demonstrations against the re-election, deemed fraudulent by Westerners, of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in 2020.
Bringing together tens of thousands of demonstrators for months, the protest movement was harshly put down: mass arrests – at least 37,000, according to the UN – torture, forced exiles and imprisonment of opponents, journalists and leaders of ;ONG.
Long-backed by Russia, Mr. Lukashenko, who has clung to power since 1994, has now made his country one of Russia's very few allies in its offensive against the #x27;Ukraine.
In an initial reaction on Friday, Beliatski's wife said she was overwhelmed with emotion and grateful.
In exile, the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, generally considered the real winner of the 2020 election, welcomed the recognition of; a fight for freedom.
Lukashenko's opponent in the August 2020 presidential election, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya went into exile in Lithuania with her children.
Founded in 1989 by another Nobel Peace Prize winner, Andreï Sakharov, at the time of perestroika, the NGO Memorial has established itself as a key player in the field of rights in Russia, shedding light on Stalinist crimes, then the abuses committed in Chechnya or by Russian paramilitaries in Syria.
Until Russian justice shocked the West and ordered its disbanded last winter for violations of a controversial Foreign Agents Act amid an increased crackdown on dissenting voices in the country.
The Nobel Peace Prize had already rewarded an itchy hair from the Kremlin last year, journalist Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the media Novaya Gazeta who also saw his license revoked.< /p>
As for the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, it was awarded by the Nobel Committee for its efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the civilian population Ukrainian.
According to UN investigators, Russia was guilty of a considerable number of war crimes, listing Russian bombardments on civilian areas, numerous executions, torture, ill-treatment as well as sexual violence against victims between the ages of 4 and 82.
Also blamed after the discovery of dozens of corpses of civilians in Boutcha, on the outskirts of kyiv, and hundreds of other bodies in Izium in an area recently liberated by Ukrainian troops, Russia denies and speaks of lies.
Beyond the destruction and countless deaths on Ukrainian soil, the Russian invasion has raised the specter of a nuclear strike stirred up by the Kremlin, set in difficulty by the counter-offensive launched in September by Ukrainian troops.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden warned of the risk of an apocalypse, for the first time since the cold war.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Nobel Committee, announced the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
This year, we were in a situation with a war in Europe, which is extremely unusual, but also in the face of a war that has effects for people all over the planet, noted the president of the Nobel committee herself, referring to the threat of nuclear weapons and food shortages.
So it's a very bleak backdrop and there's no sign immediate peace, she lamented.
In prison since July 2021, Mr. Beliatski is the fourth personality in history to be crowned with the Nobel Peace Prize in detention after Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010, Burmese opponent Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991 and the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1936.
The Nobel Prize season began on Monday with the Nobel Prize in Medicine, awarded to Swedish doctor Svante Pääbo, founder of paleogenomics.
The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday to Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger, three pioneers of the revolutionary mechanisms of quantum physics.< /p>
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Dane Morten Meldal, American Carolyn Bertozzi and her compatriot Barry Sharpless. The trio was rewarded for the development of bioorthogonal chemistry.
Finally, the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded Thursday to the French Annie Ernaux and the courage of her autobiographical work which has makes a feminist figure.
The Nobel season will end next Monday with the economics prize, added in 1969 to the five traditional prizes provided for in Alfred Nobel's will .