Parliament mourns the death of Sakharov Prize laureate Lyudmila Alexeyeva
December 11, 2018.
Joint statement by Pier Antonio Panzeri, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, and Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament.
“Lyudmila Alexeyeva was a beacon of humanity and a symbol of resistance. Her life-long struggle for human rights makes us humble. Human rights defenders are still harassed and deprived of their right to freedom of expression in Russia. Alexeyeva’s unwavering optimism to one day see democracy and the rule of law in her country should encourage us not to give up fighting for freedom in Russia”, Mr Panzeri said.
Ms Hautala added: “The European Parliament enjoyed in its Sakharov Prize laureate Ms Alexeyeva an invaluable ally in defending human dignity. I am deeply grateful for that. Parliament cherishes Lyudmila Alexeyeva’s legacy, as it awards the 2018 Sakharov Prize this Wednesday to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov whom a Russian court sentenced to 20 years in prison.”
Together with Andrei Sakharov and others, Lyudmila Alexeyeva founded the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, and later in 1988, the human rights group Memorial. In 2009, the European Parliament awarded her alongside Oleg Orlov and Sergei Kovalev the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on behalf of Memorial and all other human rights defenders in Russia.