The KHPG receives half of Memorial’s Nobel, and will give the money to the victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG), which is currently the only active member of the International Memorial in Ukraine, like other memorial organizations, became a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
KHPG will receive 1,666,666 Swedish crowns — half of the monetary part of the prize awarded to the Memorial. All this amount will be directed to help the civilian population: families whose members died due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On October 7, it was announced that this year's Peace Prize was awarded to the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, the International Memorial, and the Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski.
The press release stated that the award goes to the “Russian Memorial”. However, later the Norwegian Nobel Committee clarified in a letter that the award goes to the International Memorial, which includes:
· separate legal entities with the name “Memorial”, registered in Russia (32 legal entities), Ukraine (4 legal entities), Italy, France, Germany, and Belgium;
· four structural branches in France, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and the Perm region of Russia.
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, which began its work as “Kharkiv Memorial” in the late eighties, now remains the only active branch of the Memorial in Ukraine. Yevhen Zakharov, director of the KHPG, has also been a member of the board of the International Memorial since 1994.
During its thirty-year history, KHPG has helped hundreds of thousands of people, provided free legal aid to tens of thousands, and won more than 150 cases at the European Court of Human Rights (the most in Ukraine among non-governmental organizations) without losing a single case.
In addition to legal aid and protection of rights in courts, the organization is systematically engaged in changing approaches to human rights, promoting amendments to laws, influencing judicial practice, and promoting human rights through education and the media. Among the achievements of the KHPG is a successful campaign to abolish the death penalty in Ukraine, participation in the creation and lobbying of the Criminal Procedure Code, the system of free legal aid, and the law “On access to public information” which now is crucial for the freedom of the press in Ukraine.
In addition, KHPG often paid for the work of qualified lawyers in high-profile lawsuits, including the defamation suit of Putin’s ally Viktor Medvedchuk against Ukrainian historian Vakhtang Kipiani over the book “The Case of Vasyl Stus”.
More than two thousand people went through human rights schools and related training from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. Former employees of the KHPG are among well-known lawyers, judges of the Supreme Court, officials of the Ministry of Justice, and employees of international and intergovernmental human rights organizations.
In March 2022, together with another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Center for Civil Liberties, and the Ukrainian Helsinki Union for Human Rights, the Kharkiv Human Rights Group launched the T4P (Tribunal for Putin) initiative. The project managed to collect data on tens of thousands of war crimes committed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was “outstanding efforts to document war crimes”, among other things, that the Nobel Committee recognized.
The KHPG has created and maintains a joint database of war crimes identified by T4P. The T4P initiative website was also recently launched in 7 languages, where readers can see live statistics of the collected data in maps, graphs, and tables.
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