The 2017 Russian Federation National Award for outstanding achievements in the field of human rights will be conferred on Lyudmila Alekseyeva, chairperson of the Moscow Helsinki Group.
Lyudmila Alekseyeva was born on July 20, 1927, in Yevpatoria, Crimean ASSR. In 1950 she graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in history.
Since 1956, she has been largely involved in human rights activities, including campaigns in support of Andrei Sinyavsky, Yuli Daniel and Alexander Ginzburg. In May 1976, she became the documents custodian at the Moscow Helsinki Group. In 1977–1993 she was an émigré in the United States.
Since 1989, she has been a member of the re-opened Moscow Helsinki Group. In May 1996 she was elected the group’s chairperson.
In 2002, Lyudmila Alekseyeva became a member of the Presidential Commission for Human Rights (now the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights).
In 2012, after the adoption of the law on non-profit organisations operating as foreign agents, she publicly rejected foreign funding for the Moscow Helsinki Group.
Since 2017, Lyudmila Alekseyeva has been a member of the Coordinating Committee on Presidential Grants for the development of civil society.
Despite her age (Lyudmila Alekseyeva turned 90 years old this year) she continues her daily work in human rights protection.