One of the three women sharing the Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday lambasted the international community for not backing revolution in her native Yemen and said Arab despots who turn against their own people should not receive immunity.
Accepting the 2011 award, Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman called on the western world to support the revolutions that swept through the Arab world this year and keep faith with democratic change that was both difficult and inevitable.
The democratic world, which has told us a lot about the virtues of democracy and good governance, should not be indifferent to what is happening in Yemen and Syria, said Karman, who shared the prize with Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and rights activist Leymah Gbowee.
These (Arab leaders) should be brought to justice before the International Criminal Court; there should be no immunity for killers who rob the food of the people, she said.
The world failed to understand and support Yemen's own revolution -- where violence between supporters and opponents of outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh continues.
This should haunt the world's conscience because it challenges the very idea of fairness and justice, she added.
Syria and Yemen have been on the verge of civil war this year amid the violent suppression of anti-government uprisings.
Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee, said at the award ceremony: No dictator can in the long run find shelter from this wind of history.
It was this wind which led people to crawl up on to the Berlin Wall and tear it down. It is the wind that is now blowing in the Arab world.
Not even President Saleh was able, and President Assad in Syria will not be able, to resist the people's demand for freedom and human rights, Jagland said.
The leaders in Yemen and Syria who murder their people to retain their own power should take note of the following: mankind's fight for freedom and human rights never stops.
Jagland said women's rights must be a key focus in the aftermath of change in North Africa and the Middle East, where Islamist parties have performed strongly in elections.
The promising Arab Spring will become a new winter if women are again left out, said Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister. Islam must be part of the solution.
The laureates, receiving the prize on the 115th anniversary of the death of benefactor Alfred Nobel, will share a total award worth $1.5 million.
(Editing by Alastair Macdonald)