Ukrainian human rights organization, Truth Hounds, has been awarded the 2023 Sakharov Freedom Award for documenting war crimes, as reported by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), which established the award.
The NHC recognized the nongovernmental organization for documenting war crimes and potential crimes against humanity.
This year marks the first time a Ukrainian organization has received the award.
According to Berit Lindeman, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, “Tireless documentation work has established Truth Hounds as a force to be reckoned with.”
In the immediate aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity, during the occupation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Truth Hounds began their operations.
“The award is a sign of our respect for their work and the larger struggle of the Ukrainian people in the face of unprovoked aggression, invasion and brutality,” added Lindeman.
According to the committee, Truth Hounds collects witness testimonies and other evidence to document violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). In particular, the organization supports the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations, Ukrainian authorities, and foreign investigators.
Additionally, Truth Hounds’s scope of work has gone beyond Ukraine. They investigate war crimes in the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and Belarus.
The Sakharov Freedom Award was established in 1980 by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee with the backing and support of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.
The award ceremony will occur at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo on 25 May 2023.