Ales Bialiatski, member of the ICDR, awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2022

October 12, 2022

Ales Bialiatski (25 September 1962, Vyartsilya, Karelia, Russia), a Belarusian human rights activist and a member of the Forum 2000 International Coalition for Democratic Renewal, was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Bialiatski, who is currently being held in prison without trial and was jailed for his activities from 2011 to 2014, has been a prominent figure of the human rights movement in Eastern Europe since the late 1980s. He is the founder of the Viasna (Spring) Human Rights Centre, which was set up in 1996 in response to a brutal crackdown of protests by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

This year's Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to Mr. Bialiatski, the Center for Civil Liberties (Kyiv, Ukraine), and Memorial (Moscow, Russia). According to The Nobel Prize website, “[t]he Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their home countries. They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy”. 

Mr. Bialiatski spoke at the 18th Forum 2000 Conference titled “Democracy and its Discontents” (October 12–15, 2014, Prague and other Central European cities) about the significance of Václav Havel’s value based foreign policy. Part of his speech is available in this short two-minute video.

Ales Bialiatski has dedicated his life to fighting for democracy and human rights, standing up for freedom with courage and a strong sense of responsibility. The Forum 2000 and the ICDR strongly condemn Mr. Bialiatski’s arbitrary detention on trumped-up retaliatory charges. We call for his immediate and unconditional release and for all charges against him to be dropped.