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The Belarusian government, Ukrainian officials and organizations loyal to the Kremlin are among the opponents of the prize, which was awarded equally to human rights activists from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
The Nobel Peace Committee decided to award its 2022 award to three parties: Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties and Russian Memorial. This is precisely while the war in Ukraine continues and the Belarusian government has shown its clear support for the Kremlin.
Many congratulations came from different parts of the world. In a statement, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, celebrated assuring that “civil society groups are the oxygen of democracy and catalysts for peace, social progress and economic growth. They help governments perform accounts and bring the voices of the vulnerable into the halls of power.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, assured on his Twitter account that the winners are “champions of human rights in Europe” and “makers of peace” who can count on the support of the French people.
Ales Bialiatski in Belarus, the NGO Memorial in Russia and the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine: Nobel Peace Prize pays tribute to the human rights champions in Europe. Crafters of peace, they know they can count on France’s support.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 7, 2022
Through the same social network, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg congratulated the winners, assuring that “the right to tell the truth to the powerful is essential for free and open societies.”
Congratulations to the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, Memorial, and Ales Bialiatski on winning the #NobelPeacePrize. The right to speak truth to power is fundamental to free and open societies. #NobelPrize
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) October 7, 2022
For her part, Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tijanovskaya directly congratulated her compatriot, who is currently in prison, and assured that “those who repressed Ales and thousands of innocents will soon be in the past, and heroes like Ales Bialiatski will go down in history.”
The leaders of the European Union also celebrated the award. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, pointed out that it is a recognition of the “extraordinary courage of women and men who oppose autocracy.”
Similarly, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, stressed that it is an award that represents “a beacon of light and a symbol of peace between nations” at a time when “peace is in question.”
Representatives of the Governments of Ukraine and Belarus criticized the award
It wasn’t all congratulations and applause. Mijailo Podolyak, adviser to the president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, criticized that the award was granted to the Russian activists of Memory and the Belarusian Bialiatski.
On his Twitter account, the official noted that “the Nobel Committee understands the word ‘peace’ in an interesting way if representatives of two countries that attacked a third party jointly obtain the Nobel Prize.”
In addition, he added that he finds the award “incredible” because neither the Russian or Belarusian organizations “were able to organize resistance to the war.”
Nobel Committee has an interesting understanding of the word “peace” if representatives of two countries that attacked a third one receive @NobelPrize together. Neither Russian nor Belarusian organizations were able to organize resistance to the war. This year’s Nobel is “awesome.”
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) October 7, 2022
On the other hand, the Belarusian government criticized that the award goes to Bialiatski. Anatoly Galz, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, assured that Alfred Nobel, founder of the awards, would have “scrambled in his grave” upon seeing the decision on Friday, October 7.
“In recent years, a number of fundamental decisions, and we are talking about the Nobel Committee Peace Prize, have been so politicized that, sorry, Alfred Nobel would have had enough of rolling in his grave,” the official tweeted.
In turn, Valeri Fadeev, president of the Russian Human Rights Council, an entity that depends on the Kremlin, recommended that Memorial reject the award and assured that it is “discredited.”
With EFE and AP