Ales Bialiatski becomes Nobel Peace Prize laureate

07.10.2022 Source: Зеркало

Human rights activist and political prisoner Ales Bialiatski has won the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize was also awarded to the Russian human rights organization Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.

As the Nobel Committee explained, “Nobel Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their countries. They have over the years promoted the right to criticize the government and defend the fundamental rights of citizens. They have made outstanding efforts to document war crimes, human rights violations and abuses of power. Together they demonstrate the importance of civil society for peace and democracy.”

Ales Bialiatski is chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center.

“Bialiatski was one of the pioneers of the democratic movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. He dedicated his life to the cause of democracy and peace in his country. Bialiatski created the Viasna human rights organization in 1996 in response to the dubious amendments to the Constitution, which gave dictatorial powers to the Belarusian president,” said the Nobel Committee representative when introducing the laureates.

She pointed out that over time, the organization evolved into an institution that documents the violations of civil rights and liberties in Belarus. Bialiatski was repeatedly jailed for his activities and is now behind bars.

In 2021, the Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and Maria Ressa, founder of the Philippine publication Rappler, for their “efforts to defend freedom of speech and expression, which is a fundamental condition for democracy and lasting peace.”