88-year old Russian human rights defender received 2015 Vaclav Havel Prize

October 2, 2015


The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has awarded its annual Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to veteran Russian activist Ludmilla Alexeeva, 88, at a special ceremony in Strasbourg on the opening day of its fall plenary session on 28 September 2015.

Ludmilla Alexeeva has inspired many generations of activists in Russia, but also abroad, to commit themselves to the struggle for justice” – PACE President Anne Brasseur, chair of the selection panel, said presenting the award on 28 September. In her youth, Alexeeva gave up an academic career to join the Soviet dissident movement, going on to become a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976. A year later, she was forced to emigrate to the United States. Alexeeva returned to Russia in 1989 and became the International Helsinki Foundation president and later joined the Russian presidential human rights commission. At a demonstration in Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square in 2010 against restrictions on the freedom of assembly, the by then 82-year-old head of the Moscow Helsinki group, received a severe blow to the head.

Alexeeva told the Assembly that for her receiving the prize was a “recognition of all Russian human rights defenders who work in very hard circumstances”. She also condemned the so-called foreign-agent law adopted in 2012, which she said aimed at “destroying” civil society groups. [Critics say the Russian government is using the foreign-agent law to hound non-governmental organizations that are critical of the Kremlin. As of June, there were 67 organizations deemed as such by Russia’s Ministry of Justice, including Transparency International and the Sakharov Center.]

Source: Russian Rights Activist Awarded Vaclav Havel Prize – Transitions Online

for info on this award: http://www.brandsaviors.com/thedigest/award/václav-havel-prize-human-rights

One Response to “88-year old Russian human rights defender received 2015 Vaclav Havel Prize”

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