This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners remind us that, even in dark days of war, in the face of intimidation and oppression, the common human desire for rights and dignity cannot be extinguished. On behalf of the American people, I congratulate Ales Bialiatski of Belarus, Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, and the Russian organization Memorial on this deserved honor.
For years, they have tirelessly fought for human rights and fundamental freedoms—including the right to speak freely and criticize openly. They have pursued their mission with passion and persistence. Throughout its history, Memorial has revealed the truth about the abuse of Soviet and Russian citizens, despite intense intimidation. Ales Bialiatski has never backed down from demanding the democratic freedoms the Belarusian people deserve, even while imprisoned. And, in the midst of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine, the Center for Civil Liberties is documenting in real time the war crimes and atrocities Russia is inflicting on the Ukrainian people.
Above all, the brave souls who do this work have pursued the truth and documented for the world the political repression of their fellow citizens—speaking out, standing up, and staying the course while being threatened by those who seek their silence. In doing so, they have made our world stronger. Ales Bialiatski, the Center for Civil Liberties, and Memorial deserve to be recognized for the work they have done, the example they have set, and the hope they inspire for a better future through their unwavering dedication to fundamental freedoms.