The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that it is awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to two human rights activist groups from Ukraine and Russia and a Belarusian activist who is currently imprisoned.
In a sharp rebuke to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 2022 recipients are the Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties, the Russian group Memorial, and Ales Bialiatski, a human rights activist jailed for leading protests in 2020 against the reelection of Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko.
“Through their consistent efforts in favor of human values and anti-militarism and principles of law, this year’s laureates have revitalized and honored Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace and fraternity between nations, a vision most needed in the world today,” Norwegian Nobel Committee Chair Berit Reiss-Andersen said.
It is the second year in a row in which the Nobel Committee has rebuked Russia. Last year, Dmitri A. Muratov, editor of the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta was one of two recipients of the Peace Prize.
Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told CNN said the committee is sending “a message about the importance of political freedoms, civil liberties, and an active civil society.”
“This prize has a lot of layers on it; it’s covering a lot of ground and giving more than one message,” he added. “(It is) a prize about citizenship, and what is the best kind of citizenship if we wish to be citizens of peaceful countries in a peaceful world.”