NewsEuropeThe Nobels are once again awarded in person during a ceremony led by the "champions of peace"

The Nobels are once again awarded in person during a ceremony led by the “champions of peace”

10 December 2022, Norway, Oslo: Oleksandra Matviychuk, representative of the Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), speaks at the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to human rights activists from B -Javad Parsa/POOL NTB/dpa


Human rights activists in Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine, economists with experience in financial crises and a trio that promoted advances in click chemistry have been honored this Saturday with the in-person Nobel prizes for the first time in two years.

Carl-Henrik Heldin, chairman of the board of the Nobel Foundation, has called the situation a “special” year and highlighted the return to an in-person event before noting that, given the turmoil caused by the war in Ukraine, the world it needed scientists and activists like those who have been honored.

Events have started in Oslo, where tributes were paid to Peace Prize winners: the now-banned Russian Human Rights organization Memorial; the kyiv Center for Civil Liberties (CCL); and jailed Belarusian human rights lawyer Ales Bialiatski, head of the Viasna human rights organization.

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The chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, has described the laureates as “champions of peace” when they gathered to receive the prize. Bialiatski remains in prison and was introduced by his wife, Natalia Pinchuk.

CCL President Oleksandra Romantsova and Memorial Leader Yan Rachinski were able to personally receive the medals and diplomas at the Olso Town Hall.

The choice of this year’s award winners has been seen as a denunciation of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The winners were honored for their many years of work criticizing those in power and defending essential civil rights. The groups went to great lengths to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuses of power, according to the award jury.

“Together, they demonstrate the importance of civil society for peace and democracy,” Reiss-Andersen said.

Regarding her imprisoned husband, Pinchuk has declared that “Ales and we all recognize how important and risky it is to fulfill the mission of the defenders of Human Rights, especially at the tragic moment of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

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Pinchuk added that thousands of Belarusians are being oppressed and unjustly imprisoned, while hundreds of thousands are forced to flee to live in a democratic state.

“In my homeland, all of Belarus is in a prison,” she said on behalf of her husband, adding that the award gives all Belarusians hope that they can count on the solidarity of the democratic world.

Romansova, head of the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties, has declared in her speech that “peace, progress and human rights are inextricably linked.”

A state that kills journalists, jails activists and breaks up peaceful protests is a threat to peace around the world, according to Romansova.

“The people of Ukraine want peace more than anyone in the world. But peace cannot be achieved by an attacked country that lays down its arms,” ​​he added, referring to the bloody Russian invasion of his country. “This would not be peace, but occupation.”

Rachinski, the Russian leader of Memorial, has stated that the prize has great symbolic significance for the group: “It underscores that state borders cannot and should not divide civil society”, although he wondered if the work of the organization “was worth to avoid the catastrophe of February 24”

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Memorial, an internationally recognized group, was disbanded last year by order of Russian authorities, for allegedly breaking the law by refusing to carry the title of “foreign agent” demanded by the Kremlin.

Events then moved to Stockholm where Swede Svante Pääbo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work studying human evolution.

Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, scientists based in France, the United States and Austria, have accepted the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in quantum information science.

Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless were this year’s winners of the chemistry prize for their work on click chemistry, a tool for building molecules.

French author Annie Ernaux was the winner for literature for writing based on personal memories, and the Nobel Prize in economics went to Ben Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond and Philip H. Dybvig for their research on financial crises.


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