Lidia Yusupova

Human rights lawyer

Lidia Yusupova is a Chechen lawyer and human rights activist hailed by the BBC as “the bravest woman in Europe.” Many of her friends, family members, and acquaintances perished during the mid-1990s in the First Chechen War. When the Second Chechen War began in 2000, Yusupova began documenting allegations of executions, disappearances, rape, and torture in Chechnya. She has worked for the Russian dissident-led NGO Memorial, which provides victims of human rights abuses with legal assistance and informs the international community about rights violations committed by authorities on both sides of the conflict. Yusupova was awarded the Rafto Prize in 2005 for her efforts to aid the relatives of abductees and for her brave struggle to defend basic human rights in Chechnya. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.

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