Center for Civil Liberties
Interview, December 2022
“Ordinary people are a huge power”
Nobelprize.org spoke to Ms Sasha Romantsova, Executive Director of the Center for Civil Liberties, about what ordinary people can do to promote peace and democracy. The interview took place on 12 December 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden, during the Nobel Week.
Telephone interview, October 2022
“This is a story about that freedom has no borders and human rights values are universal”
Telephone interview with Oleksandra Matviychuk, Head of the Board of the Center for Civil Liberties on 8 October 2022. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Prize Outreach.
When asked what brings her hope, Oleksandra Matviychuk replies, “Ordinary people.” Although the challenges faced might seem insurmountable, she sees first hand how people have the power to change the status quo: “Mobilisation of common people can change world history quicker than UN intervention.” In this conversation, recorded the day after the announcement of the award of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to the organisation she heads, Matviychuk speaks of the sense of solidarity to be gained from fighting together for human rights: “This is about a story that freedom has no borders and human rights values are universal.”
Read a transcript of the interview
The call from Oslo, October 2021
“It is incredible”
Before the public announcement of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Olav Njølstad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, called Oleksandra Romantsova, Executive Director of Center for Civil Liberties, to inform her that her organisation was one of the three Nobel Peace Prize laureates for 2022.
Oleksandra Romantsova: Hello.
Olav Njølstad: Yes, hello. Is this Ms. Romantsova?
OR: Yea, yea, yea. Oleksandra Romantsova, it’s me. Hello.
ON: Hello. I am Olav Njølstad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.
ON: I’m calling you on behalf of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to inform you that in a very few minutes it will be announced here from the Nobel Institute that the Center for Civil Liberties will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 together with another human rights organisation and one individual.
ON: So, congratulations to you.
OR: (laughs) It’s… okay. It’s… it’s (laughs) it’s great. Thank you.
ON: Thank you. I’m glad you’re happy with this information.
OR: Because for us, for your understanding. We have even joined projects explain people Nobel Prize previous years. What exactly, why people accept, the like, was awarded for some prize about peace working. Like for example from 2018 I make a lecture about Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege and all other. So for us it’s really important, like a part of, you know, Ukrainian society culture, to understood what that means, so it’s really… thank you.
ON: I’m delighted to hear your reaction. And I must ask you not to break this news to anyone before the top of the hour.
OR: Can I exactly tell it to the head of our organisation, Oleksandra Matviichuk?
OR: Yea? Sure, okay, Thank you.
ON: And it will be announced officially at twelve o’clock your time, so then you are free of course to tell anyone.
OR: Okay. (laughs) It’s incredible. Seriously, it’s really cool.
ON: Thank you. Thank you. Okay. It was nice talking to you and we will come back to you soon. Bye bye.
OR: Thank you. Bye bye.
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Nobel Prizes and laureates
See them all presented here.