Jailed Belarus activist, Russian and Ukrainian groups awarded Nobel Peace Prize for 2022

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (almost €920,000), will be presented in Oslo on December 10
Jailed Belarus activist, Russian and Ukrainian groups awarded Nobel Peace Prize for 2022

Belarus human rights activist Ales Bialiatski has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (dpa picture alliance/Alamy/PA)

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 has been awarded to jailed Belarus human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian human rights group Memorial, and the Ukrainian organisation, Centre for Civil Liberties.

The winners were announced on Friday in Oslo by Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence in the neighbour countries Belarus, Russia and Ukraine," Reiss-Andersen said.

Later in her speech, Ms Reiss-Anderson called on Belarus to release Byalyatski from prison.

Mr Bialiatski was one of the leaders of the democracy movement in Belarus in the mid-1980s and has continued to campaign for human rights and civil liberties in the authoritarian country.

Later in her speech, Ms Reiss-Anderson called on Belarus to release Byalyatski from prison.

She said the Nobel Committee was aware of the possibility that by awarding him the prize Mr Bialiatski might face additional scrutiny from authorities in Belarus.

“But we also have the point of view that the individuals behind these organisations, they have chosen to take a risk and pay a high price and show courage to fight for what they believe in,” she said. “We do pray that this price will not affect him negatively but we hope it might boost his morale.

Memorial was founded in the Soviet Union in 1987 to ensure the victims of communist repression would be remembered. It has continued to compile information on human rights abuses in Russia and tracked the fate of political prisoners in the country.

The Centre for Civil Liberties was founded in 2007 to promote human rights and democracy in Ukraine during a period of turmoil in the country.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the group has worked to document Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians.

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (almost €920,000), will be presented in Oslo on December 10 - the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.

"The Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their home countries," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its citation.

"They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens."

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off on Monday with the award in medicine honouring a scientist who unlocked the secrets of Neanderthal DNA.

Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics on Tuesday for showing that tiny particles can retain a connection with each other even when separated.

The prize for chemistry was awarded on Wednesday to three scientists who developed ways of connecting molecules that can be used to design more targeted drugs.

French author Annie Ernaux won this year’s Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday.

The 2022 Nobel Prize for economics will be announced on Monday.

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