Three FIDH members awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

10/12/2022
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Rodrigo Freitas / NTB / NTB via AFP

Paris, Oslo, 10 December 2022. In what amounts to an unprecedented difficult year for the human rights movement in Eastern Europe, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcomes with gratitude the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to three of its members: Ales Bialiatski, President of Viasna (Belarusian organisation)and former FIDH Vice President, Memorial, a Russian organisation and the Centre for Civil Liberties (CCL), Ukrainian organisation.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the highest honours existing for activists worldwide. FIDH is proud to see this year’s award given to three of its member organisations with whom it has closely collaborated for years. This award puts a shining light on their vanguard work, alerting of human rights violations and of the prospect of escalation well in advance of the Russian full scale invasion - mitigating and documenting the crimes that ensued.

"This prize honours us all, it also gives us a moment to ponder on the cost of freedom, of the right to self determination and to a peaceful life : for those praised today this often means bravely enduring the exact opposite. Their resistance is a way to transcend these hardships, a way to claim in the face of those trying desperately to smother them, that human rights are truly universal."

Eléonore Morel, CEO of FIDH

Work across civil societies and beyond borders is more than ever necessary in the face of war

With years of experience and documented violations across dozens of reports, FIDH argues that the war crimes committed today in Ukraine are at least in part related to the decades old wide human rights abuse perpetrated within Russia and Belarus. As such this year’s Nobel Peace Prize accurately rewards and supports a transnational group of laureates, showing strength comes from their work united, above borders and demarcations imposed by aggressors and dictatorships.

For those awarded today, this work implies a heavy toll : Ales Bialiatski is currently being arbitrarily detained in Belarus under terrible conditions. Memorial was dissolvedin December 2021 under false pretences by the Russian authorities, and its members sent in exile or in prison. CCL members are currently living in a country at war, under aggression by a foreign power directly targeting essential civilian infrastructures. More than ever their work is essential and they persist in advancing the cause for human rights.

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