Of­fi­cial: Rus­sian hu­man rights pi­o­neer dies at 91

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Nation & World -

MOSCOW — Lyud­mila Alex­eyeva, a hu­man rights pi­o­neer and dis­si­dent who chal­lenged the Soviet and Rus­sian regimes for decades, de­mand­ing that they free po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers and es­tab­lish demo­cratic rights, died Satur­day in a Moscow hos­pi­tal, a Rus­sian of­fi­cial said. She was 91.

The ac­tivist was born un­der dic­ta­tor Josef Stalin’s regime. She risked her own free­dom to protest the plight of po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s and co­founded the Moscow Helsinki Group, Rus­sia’s old­est hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tion, in 1976.

Alex­eyeva was forced into ex­ile in 1977.

She re­turned to Rus­sia in 1993 after the 1991 col­lapse of the Soviet Union and con­tin­ued her work, but sus­pi­cion of non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions un­der Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s rule in­creas­ingly im­peded her ac­tiv­i­ties.

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