‘No direct message to Putin, except…’: Nobel panel on 2022 Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Friday that this year Nobel Prize for Peace is not a direct message to Russian President Vladimir Putin hours after they declared the peace prize. “It highlights the way civil society and human rights defenders are being oppressed,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the commission.

However, the commission said that Putin’s government, like the dispensation in Belarus, is authoritative and suppresses human rights activists.

When asked whether the Nobel Committee should send a message to Putin, who turned 70 Friday, Reiss-Andersen said, “We always give a prize for something and to someone and not to anyone.”

Also read: | Nobel-winning Ukrainian NGO chief says Vladimir Putin must appear before ‘tribunal’

“This award is not aimed at President Putin, whether for his birthday or in any other sense, except that his government, like the government in Belarus, represents an authoritarian government that oppresses human rights activists,” she continued.

Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, Memorial of Russia and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Berit Reiss-Andersen said the panel wanted to honor “three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence in neighboring Belarus, Russia and Ukraine”.

Speaking of the peace prize winners, the head of the Norwegian Nobel committee said, Ales Bialiatski was detained in 2020 after protests against the re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin, and he is still in prison. without trial. The Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties has taken a position to pressure the authorities to make the country a full-fledged democracy, she said.

She went on to say that the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties was working to document Russian war crimes committed against Ukrainian civilians after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Memorial, a group founded by Soviet-era dissidents, including Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov, was ordered to close earlier this year for failing to identify itself as a “foreign agent” under Russian law. It catalogs political repression ranging from mass purges and the Gulag prison system of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to the persecution of dissent in contemporary Russia under Putin.

(With input from the agency)

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