France was saddened to learn of the death in Moscow on December 8 of Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a leading figure in the Russian human rights movement. France extends its heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.
Lyudmila Alexeyeva devoted her life to defending human rights in the Soviet Union and then in Russia, with a courage that was unanimously respected in Russia and abroad. A Soviet dissident and co-founder of the Moscow Helsinki Group, she endured exile before being allowed to return to Russia in 1993. She was a critical and uncompromising voice on all major social and political issues, but she was also a key player in the dialogue between the authorities and Russian society.
She won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought as well as many other awards and her name was put forward several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was an Officer of the Legion of Honor.