What is Russian human rights organisation 'Memorial'?
The Russian human rights organisation Memorial has been awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize
The Memorial was founded in 1987, during Mikhail Gorbachev's Perestroika reforms
Memorial was liquidated by Russia's Supreme Court on December 28, 2021
Human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties have been awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
"The Nobel 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," the committee wrote on Twitter after the announcement.
"They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy."
The decision was made by The Norwegian Nobel Committee.
What is the Russian human rights organisation 'Memorial'?
Russian human rights organisation 'Memorial' has spent over 30 years investigating the fate of victims of Soviet political repressions. It also revealed human rights violations in modern-day Russia. Memorial was liquidated by Russia's Supreme Court on December 28th, 2021.
Its work was never well recognised by the government. It was first warned in 2006, and in 2014 it was put on the government's list of "foreign agents," a list of organisations and individuals the authorities allege get funds from Overseas.
The label is a reminder of the Soviet Union's 1930s mass repressions (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Following that, numerous victims were wrongly charged with being foreign agents, traitors, or enemies of the people.
The Memorial was founded in 1987, during Mikhail Gorbachev's Perestroika reforms, and was first led by Andrei Sakharov, a notable Soviet dissident scientist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Sakharov and many in his group were focused on determining the exact extent of repression under Josef Stalin, the Soviet leader from 1929 to 1953. Tens of millions of people are said to have died in the Gulag forced labour camps during this time period.
A Memorial group visited the Solovky camp in northern Russia 1990, which was formerly one of the most known Gulag camps. They returned with a memorial stone that would be erected in central Moscow.
The Solovetsky stone is presently placed at Lubyanka Square, just across the office of Russia's security service, the FSB (formerly NKVD and later the KGB). Memorial also looked into current human rights violations in Russia and other post-Soviet nations. In 1991, the organisation established a human rights centre as a distinct arm. It has been assisting people labelled political prisoners and their families with legal and other services.