Jeri Laber (RI '54): Remembering Lyudmila Alexeyeva

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Jeri Laber (RI '54), a founder of Human Rights Watch, and a participant in the Harriman Institute's oral history project, commemorates the Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva on HRW's website.

"My favorite photo of Lyudmila was taken in 1973. Lyuda with a group of friends, sitting on a couch, arms around each other, joyful in their camaraderie. A few years later, in 1976, they would form the Moscow Helsinki Group to report on violations of human rights in their country. In doing so, they became victims themselves. Within a short time, most of their members were gone, sentenced to prison or labor camp, followed by internal exile. In 1977, Lyuda was forced into exile; she settled in the United States, where she became the group's official representative abroad." Read more on