The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Belarusian human rights lawyer Ales Byaliatskyi and the Russian NGO Memorial and Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Rights.
Ales Bialiatsky was one of the founders of the democracy movement that emerged in Belarus in the mid-1980s. He devoted his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development in his native country.
During the wars in Chechnya, the memorial collected and verified information about abuses and war crimes committed against the population by Russian and pro-Russian forces. In 2009, Natalia Estemirova, head of the Memorial branch in Chechnya, was killed because of this work.
The Ukrainian human rights organization Civil Liberties Center was recognized for its work.
A call to liberation
The Norwegian Nobel Committee called on Belarus on Friday to release jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Peliatsky, along with two Russian and Ukrainian NGOs.
“Our message is to urge the authorities in Belarus to release Mr. Peliatsky, which we hope will happen, and he will come to Oslo to receive the prize,” Nobel Committee President Berit Reiss-Andersen said. “But there are thousands of political prisoners in Belarus, and I’m afraid my option may not be very realistic.”
According to the Nobel Organization, laureates represent civil society in their home countries. Over the years they have been promoting the right to criticize the government and protect the basic rights of citizens. They have made exceptional efforts to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuses of power. Together they show the importance of civil society for peace and democracy.
A rewarding week
On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Medicine opened the ball by crowning Swede Svante Pabo, the father of Denisova’s man and the discoverer of Neanderthal man’s DNA.
Physics on Tuesday rewarded Frenchman Alain Aspecht, Austrian Anton Zeilinger and American John Glaser for discovering a revolutionary mechanism called “quantum entanglement”, proving Albert Einstein wrong on this elusive phenomenon of quantum mechanics.
On Wednesday, the trio of Americans Carolyn Berdozzi and Barry Sharpless, along with Dane Morton Meldel, were crowned in Chemistry “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.”
On Thursday, Anne Erneaux, notably the author of “Empty Boxes” and “The Years,” became the first French woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature after 15 men.
The Nobel season ends next Monday with the economics prize added in 1969 to the five traditional prizes given in Alfred Nobel’s will.
Last ten years
Here is a list of Nobel Peace Prize winners from the past ten years.
2021: Filipino journalists Maria Ressa and Russian Dmitry Muratov “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression”.
2020: United Nations World Food Program (WFP) “for its efforts to fight hunger in the world”.
2019: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “for his efforts for peace” and in particular “for his determined effort to resolve the border conflict with Eritrea”.
2018: Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi Nadia Murad work to “end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war”.
2017: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for contributing to the adoption of a landmark nuclear ban treaty.
2016: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his commitment to ending the armed conflict with Farc guerrillas.
2015: Quartet for the Tunisian National Dialogue, civil society actors who helped save the democratic transition in Tunisia.
2014: Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan) and Kailash Satyarthi (India) “For fighting against oppression of children and youth and for the right of all children to education”.
2013: Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for its efforts to rid the planet of weapons of mass destruction.
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