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Lyudmila Alexeyeva wins 2015 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

September 28, 2015

IllustrationToday, on Monday 28 September, 2015, Russian human rights defender Lyudmila Alexeyeva was ceremonially announced as laureate of the 2015 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. The award is presented by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Václav Havel Library and the Charter 77 Foundation.

Lyudmila Alexeyeva is a veteran human rights defender in her native Russia. In her youth, she gave up a promising academic career to join the Soviet dissident movement, going on to become a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Forced to emigrate to the US in 1977, she returned to Russia in 1989 to continue her work, becoming President of the International Helsinki Foundation and later joining the Russian President’s Commission on Human Rights. She has worked relentlessly for the protection and promotion of the rule of law.

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize draws attention to extraordinary actions in the field of human rights in Europe and elsewhere. It is presented annually by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation. It comes with a monetary award of EUR 60,000.

The Story of a Refugee

The Václav Havel Library has organised an international conference in honour of the laureate; The Story of a Refugee: The Europe of Dreams and Reality will take place at the Prague Crossroads on 30 September, 2015.

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Letter to Gustáv Husák – samizdat essay

„The overall question, then, is this: What profound intellectual and moral impotence will the nation suffer tomorrow, following the castration of its culture today? I fear that the baneful effects on society will outlast by many years the particular political interests that gave rise to them. So much more guilty, in the eyes of history, are those who have sacrificed the country’s spiritual future for the sake of their present power interests.“

Václav Havel:
Letter to Gustáv Husák – samizdat essay, April 8, 1975

Václav Havel’s Prague