Wife of Jailed Belarusian Nobel Winner to Accept His Award

The wife of jailed Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, one of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners, will accept the award on his behalf at the upcoming ceremony, organizers said Friday.

Bialiatski, 60, won the prestigious prize in October together with Russian rights group Memorial and Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties, which is documenting “Russian war crimes” against the Ukrainian people.

The prize will be presented to the trio at a formal ceremony in Oslo on December 10.

Bialiatski was jailed after large-scale demonstrations against the regime in 2020, when Belarus’ authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, claimed victory in elections the international community deemed fraudulent.

His wife, Natalia Pinchuk, will represent him in Norway.

“We are very happy that she has gotten out of Belarus and everything is arranged for her to be able to participate in the (Nobel) ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10,” the head of the Nobel Institute, Olav Njolstad, told AFP in an email.

Memorial will be represented by its chairman, Yan Rachinsky, and the CCL by its director, Oleskandra Matviychuk, the institute said.

A highly symbolic choice for this year’s prize, the trio represent the three nations at the center of the war in Ukraine, which has plunged Europe into its worst security crisis since World War II.

The committee said it honored the three for their struggle for “human rights, democracy and peaceful co-existence in the neighbor countries Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.”

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