Ludmilla Alexeeva of Moscow Helsinki Group receives Havel Award
During the opening of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly autumn session today, prominent Russian human rights defender Ludmilla Alexeeva was awarded the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize. The award honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights, and it includes a €60 000 prize. - NHC warmly congratulates Ludmilla, she is one of the founders of the Russian human rights movement. To award the prize to her this year in particular, while we are celebrating the 40 year anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration, carries a lot of symbolic weight, Secretary general Bjørn Engesland says at the news of the prize.
The 1975 Helsinki declaration was a milestone during the Cold War, and it still is an important reference for human rights defenders working in Europe, in Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics in particular. 40 years later, the declaration just as current as then, with decreasing political rights and freedoms in several European countries, most notably in Ludmilla Alexeevas Russia.
As one of the founders, and still the leader of, the Moscow Helsinki Group, Ludmilla Alexeeva has been a partner of NHC since the very beginning in 1977. She is still one of the main Russian human activists, and her lifelong, tireless dedication and struggle for fundamental human rights and democracy through a whole life makes her a role model we others can strive to achieve. The price must also be perceived as a support to the entire civil society in Russia, which under President Putin is under intense pressure.
Please find link to the Parliamentary Assembly's award ceremony here.