Human rights champions in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine win Nobel Peace Prize

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Ales Bialiatski
Ales Bialiatski
Photo: Twitter/@NobelPrize/Spring96
  • The Nobel Peace Prize was on Friday awarded to human rights champions Ales Bialiatski of Belarus, Russia's Memorial group and Ukraine's Centre for Civil Liberties.
  • The committee called for the release of Bialiatski, who has been jailed since 2021 in Belarus, and insisted its prize was not directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • The prize comes with a gold medal, a diploma and a prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $900 000; R16.2 million).


The Nobel Peace Prize was on Friday awarded to human rights champions Ales Bialiatski of Belarus, Russia's Memorial group and Ukraine's Centre for Civil Liberties for their work to document war crimes and rights abuses.

The committee called for the release of Bialiatski, who has been jailed since 2021 in Belarus, and insisted its prize was not directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched an invasion of Ukraine in February.

"They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy," the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, told reporters.

"This prize is not addressing President Putin... except that his government... is representing an authoritarian government that is suppressing human rights activists," Reiss-Andersen said.

Last year, the Peace Prize crowned two champions of freedom of the press, Philippine journalist Maria Ressa and her Russian colleague Dmitry Muratov.

The prize comes with a gold medal, a diploma and a prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $900 000; R16.2 million).

The award will be presented at a formal ceremony in Oslo on 10 December, the anniversary of the 1896 death of the prizes' creator, Swedish inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel.

Reiss-Andersen said she hoped Bialiatski would be able to attend.

"We do hope... that he can come to Oslo and receive the honour bestowed upon him," she said.

The Peace Prize is the only Nobel awarded in Oslo, with the other disciplines announced in Stockholm.

On Thursday, French author Annie Ernaux, known for her deceptively simple novels drawing on personal experience of class and gender, won the Nobel Literature Prize.

She is the 17th woman to get the nod out of 119 literature laureates since 1901.

READ MORE | French author wins 2022 Nobel Literature Prize

The Nobel season winds up Monday with the Nobel Economics Prize.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE