Photo: Hans Jørgen Brun
Laureate 1999

Gennady Grushevoy

Protecting the victims of the Chernobyl disaster

Gennady Grushevoy (1950) was awarded the 1999 Rafto Prize for his many years of courageous work for democracy and human rights in Belarus. In the country most severely hit by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, Grushevoy has focused on environmental issues by emphasizing the victims' human rights.

Gennady Grushevoy was a professor of philosophy at the Belarusian State University from 1973. In 1988 Grushevoy began to participate actively in the democratic opposition movement, the Belarusian Popular Front (BFP). In 1989 he was arrested for organising various political actions and protest demonstrations after the Chernobyl catastrophe in Belarus.

In 1989, he created a non-governmental charitable fund dedicated to helping Belarussian children affected by Chernobyl catastrophe. The Fund was officially registered in 1990 as a non-profit, non-governmental Belarussian Charitable Fund «For the Children of Chernobyl». After the Chernobyl catastrophe, Belarus faced many problems which mainly affected the younger generation. Grushevoy has especially focused on environmental issues. The organisation promotes civil movement initiatives within Belarus and works on a variety of humanitarian programmes.

During the 1990s Grushevoy initiated the creation of numerous public, political, social-political organisations in Belarus. In 1996 he was elected to the Parliament, but as one of the leaders of the democratic opposition, he was not registered as a deputy and was not included by President Lukashenka in the House of Representatives.

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