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Ales Bialiatski, Belarusian human rights activist win Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo: Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel committee, announced the joint winners of 2022’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize 2022 has been jointly conferred on Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian civil rights activists for “their remarkable efforts in favor of humanist values, anti-militarism and principles of law”, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in […]

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: Oct 8, 2022 12:48 IST
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Oslo: Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel committee, announced the joint winners of 2022’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize 2022 has been jointly conferred on Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian civil rights activists for “their remarkable efforts in favor of humanist values, anti-militarism and principles of law”, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement on Friday.

The recipients of the award are human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties.

He is currently being held in pre-trial detention.
Bialitski, 60, is the founder of the country’s Viasna (Spring) Human Rights Centre, which was set up in 1996 in response to a brutal crackdown on street protests by Belarus’s authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
“[Bialitski] has devoted his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development in his home country,” the Nobel Peace Prize committee said.
Bialitski was first arrested and jailed in 2011-14 on tax evasion charges he has always denied.

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He was detained again in 2020 following massive protests over what the Belarusian opposition and independent monitors say were rigged elections in Belarus that kept Lukashenko in power.

According to the Committe, Bialiatski was one of the initiators of the democracy movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s.

He founded the organisation Viasna (Spring) in 1996 in “response to the controversial constitutional amendments that gave the president dictatorial powers and that triggered widespread demonstrations”, says the statement.

Viasna provided support for the jailed demonstrators and their families. In the years that followed, Viasna evolved into a broad-based human rights organisation that documented and protested against the authorities’ use of torture against political prisoners.

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Meanwhile, Russian human rights organisation Memorial was established in 1987 by human rights activists in the former Soviet Union who wanted to ensure that the victims of the communist regime’s oppression would never be forgotten.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov and human rights advocate Svetlana Gannushkina were among the founders.
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.

Memorial became the most authoritative source of information on political prisoners in Russian detention facilities. The organisation has also been standing at the forefront of efforts to combat militarism and promote human rights and government based on rule of law.

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First published on: Oct 07, 2022 03:35 PM IST

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