Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia's Human Rights Champion Lyudmila Alekseyeva Marks 85th Birthday


Rights Advocate Lyudmila Alekseyeva On Hopes For Russia
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:01:29 0:00

WATCH: Lyudmila Alekseyeva speaks to RFE/RL's Russian Service

MOSCOW -- Journalists and activists in Russia have honored the human rights advocate Lyudmila Alekseyeva on the occasion of her 85th birthday.

Alekseyeva, who was born in Crimea in 1927, helped found the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group in 1976 and is one of the few Soviet-era dissidents who remains active now in Russia's rights movement.

She was among the activists to step down from Russia's presidential Human Rights Council in protest over Vladimir Putin's reelection as president this spring.

She has also been a vocal critic of new legislation proposing harsh restrictions on nongovernmental organizations, the Internet, and public protests.

In an interview with RFE/RL's Russian Service, fellow activist and former dissident Sergei Kovalyov praised Alekseyeva for her bravery and fight for what he called Russians' "right to self-esteem."

The Kremlin press service reports that Putin also offered his congratulations to Alekseyeva.

In a statement, he praised her for aiding the "development of dialogue between the government and the public" and said she had remained loyal throughout her lifetime to the "high ideals of service to society."

With reporting by

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More