This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to an activist and two institutions: the Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski and the Russian organizations Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, responsible for denouncing war crimes.
In Oslo, the Norwegian Nobel Committee justified the decision by “promoting the right to criticize power and protecting the fundamental rights of citizens” of laureates in their home countries. “They have made a remarkable effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuse of power. They demonstrate the importance of civil society for peace and democracy.”
“In awarding the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to Ales Bialiatski Memorial and Center for Civil Liberties, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honor three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence in neighboring Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.By their continuing efforts in Upholding Humanist Values, Antimilitarism and the Principles of Law, this year’s Laureates have revitalized and honored Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace and brotherhood among nations, a vision needed in the world today”.
Ales Bialiatski was one of the forerunners of the democratic movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s and dedicated his life to promoting democracy in his country. In response to the controversial constitutional reforms that in 1996 gave the president dictatorial powers, he founded Viasna (Spring), an organization that supported demonstrators detained in anti-government protests. In the following years, Viasna grew into a broader human rights organization, which in particular fought against the use of torture against political prisoners.
Ales Bialiatski himself was imprisoned between 2011 and 2014 and in 2020 he was arrested again after the protests against the regime and remains in prison without ever having been without the right to trial.
The Russian organization Memorial was created in 1987 to investigate and record the crimes committed by the Soviet regime, but it was dedicated to denouncing human rights violations in Russia. was recently closed by order of a Russian court.
The Center for Civil Liberties was established in kyiv in 2007 to promote human rights and democracy in Ukraine.
The deadline for submitting applications ended on January 31, almost a month before the start of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine (on February 24). However, members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee can propose their own candidates at the Committee’s first meeting, which this year took place in early March.
Before announcing the winner, the Nobel Committee only released the number of candidates, which this year was 343 (251 of whom are individuals and 92 organizations). Up from 329 candidates last year and the second highest in history, the record belongs to the 376 candidates nominated in 2016.
As in the other categories, the identities of the nominators and nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize can only be disclosed 50 years after the nomination, as well as the investigations and opinions related to the presentation of an award.
In 2021, the award was presented to journalists Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov from Russia for defending freedom of the press and expression.
The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place on December 10 (the day of Alfred Nobel’s death) in Oslo, Norway, where the laureates receive the award, which consists of a medal and a diploma, along with a document confirming the monetary amount of the prize. prize, which this year is 10 million Swedish kronor (approximately 919,000 euros at current exchange rates) for each category.