April 25, 2024

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The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to human rights advocates in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to human rights advocates in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus

The Nobel Peace Prize on Friday was awarded to human rights defenders in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus who have become symbols of resistance and accountability at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered Europe’s largest ground war since World War Two.

Winners – Alice Bialiatsky, imprisoned Belarusian activist; Memorial, Russian Organization; The Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine has emerged as one of the strongest competitors to widespread disinformation and harmful myths propagated by authoritarian leaders and fueled by globalization, digital interconnectedness, and new methods of surveillance.

“The laureates of the Peace Prize represent civil society in their countries of origin,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said in announcing the awards. “They have promoted for many years the right to criticize the authority and the protection of the basic rights of citizens.”

The committee said it chose the three winners because it wanted to honor the heroes of “human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence” in neighboring countries such as Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Their work has acquired new significance since February, when Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded neighboring UkraineThe displacement of millions and the destabilization of the entire region.

The award was an implicit rebuke to Putin, whose tenure has been marked by a violent crackdown on dissidents and critics at home — and whose 70th birthday was on Friday, an overlap that many observers have noted.

“On Putin’s 70th birthday, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Russian human rights group he shut down, a Ukrainian human rights group that documents his war crimes, and a Belarusian rights activist imprisoned by his ally Lukashenko,” Roth, former executive director of Human Rights Watch, said. He said on Twitter.

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Asked if this year’s selection of winners was “a president’s birthday in time”, Ms. Reiss-Andersen said, “This award is not addressed to President Putin, nor to his birthday or in any other sense – except that his government, as that of Belarus, represents An authoritarian government cracking down on human rights activists.”

Ms. Reiss Andersen said the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine had been involved in efforts to identify and document evidence of Russian war crimes since the invasion began, adding that the group had been “playing a leading role with the goal of holding the guilty accountable for their crimes.”

The Commission Praise the organization To take a position “to strengthen Ukrainian civil society and put pressure on the authorities to make Ukraine a full democracy.”

There were 343 nominees for this year’s award, including 251 people and 92 organizations – the second-highest total ever, trailing only in 2016. Although there was no outstanding candidate, some of the names that attracted attention included President Volodymyr Zelensky Ukraine. Alexei A. NavalnyHe is a jailed Russian dissident. Svetlana TikanovskayaHe is a Belarusian opposition politician. World Health Organization; and the International Court of Justice.

Mr. Zelensky was the bookie’s favorite.

Last year, the Peace Prize was shared by two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitriy A. Muratov“For their efforts to protect freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace,” the Nobel Committee said.

Mr. Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, has been described as one of Russia’s most prominent defenders of freedom of expression. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Novaya Gazeta Had to suspend publication Amidst the escalation of government oversight.

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