Nobel Peace Prize - an important recogition of the heroic efforts of civil society

The Rafto Foundation conveys its warmest congratulations to this year's recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, which recognizes the heroic efforts of civil society in three countries right now involved in a historical struggle which will have a tremendous impact on all our lives.

"We are happy to receive the news that this year's Nobel Peace Prize gives recogition to civil society organizations, who for decades have been fighting for democracy and human rights", says Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt, Executive Director at the Rafto Foundation.

Memorial has for many years been perhaps most important provider of documentation about human rights violations in Russia, under previous as well as the current regime.

In 2005, the then representative of Memorial in Grozny Lidia Yusupova received the Rafto Prize for her courageous work to document human rights violations in Chechnya. Yelena Bonner, who received the Rafto Prize in 1991, helped found the Memorial.

The Center for Civil Rights in Ukraine, like the Rafto Foundation, is a member of the Human Rights House Network, and we deeply admire their work under the exceptionally difficult conditions of the ongoing war.

Ales Bialiatski and Viasna are also members of the Human Rights House Foundation, and have stood up against an overwhelming and entrenched dictatorship for several decades.

" These three organizations, and Bialiatski personally, have involved and inspired millions to put their own welfare and freedom at risk for peace, democracy and human rights. This year's Peace Prize could not have been given to more worthy candidates, states Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt", states Executive Director at the Rafto Foundation.