The Nobel Peace Prize on Friday was awarded to human rights champions Ales Bialiatski of Belarus, Russia’s Memorial group, and Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties for their work to document war crimes and rights abuses.
The committee called for the release of Bialiatski, who has been jailed since 2021 in Belarus, and insisted its prize was not directed at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched an invasion of Ukraine in February.
“They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses, and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy,” the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, told reporters.
“This prize is not addressing President Putin … except that his government … is representing an authoritarian government that is suppressing human rights activists,” Reiss-Andersen said.
The prize comes with a gold medal, a diploma, and a prize sum of $900,000.
The Peace Prize is the only Nobel awarded in Oslo, with the other disciplines announced in Stockholm.
The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on Dec. 10. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895.