March 31, 2010
Ludmila Alexeeva, 82 years old at home on the Arbate is the Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group, is the doyenne of Russia's human rights community. Thirty years ago, she was one of the original Soviet-era dissidents who spoke out against repression. Today, she is not afraid to raise her voice in the renewed fight for rights in Russia, including criticizing policies on hate crimes as well as the war in Chechnya, and is a mentor to the new generation of dissidents. Alexeeva published the seminal book Soviet Dissent in 1985. She also served as President of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights - an umbrella group of human rights organizations from 38 countries -- from 1999 to 2004.