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The winners were honored for their many years of work criticizing those in power and defending essential civil rights. Their groups went to great lengths to document war crimes, human rights abuses and abuses of power, the prize jury said. Saturday’s prize-giving coincided with the UN’s Human Rights Day, which commemorates the 74th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bialiatski has been in prison in Belarus for a year and a half, so was represented by his wife, Natalia Pinchuk. Representatives from CCL and Memorial, however, were able to personally receive the medals and diplomas. They used their speeches to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching his “insane and criminal” invasion of Ukraine.