Ten people became MHG Award laureates in the field of human rights protection in 2019. The list includes Ilya Sivoldaev (a human rights activist from Voronezh) and Irina Biryukova (a lawyer of the Fund “Public Verdict”, who uncovered tortures in Yaroslavl correctional colony №1). On May 17, MHG’s official website published the information about the winners.
In summer 2018, Irina Biryukova provided “Novaya Gazeta” with the video of how the prisoners in Yaroslavl correctional colony №1 were tortured. After the publication of videomaterials 17 employees of the colony were under investigation. As a lawyer, Irina Buryukova defended convicts who reported torture.
Ilya Sivoldaev, a human rights activist and lawyer of “Human Rights House — Voronezh”, was awarded for defending human rights in the European Court of Human Rights: he impeached more than 50 Russian courts’ judgements, represented more than 100 complainants.
The list of MHG Award laureates also includes: Alexander Cherkasov (a chairman of the “Memorial” Human Rights Center), a director Kirill Sakharnov, a journalist Israpil Shovhalov, Maria Gordeeva (a co-chairman of the Coordinating Council of the Youth Human Rights Movement), Alla Frolova (a coordinator of the Human Rights Legal Aid Project “ATS-info”), Lev Levinson (an expert of the Institute of Human Rights), Boris Vishnevsky (a deputy of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly), Valentine Shaysipova (a lawyer of the Network "Migration and Law"), and Catherine Fitzpatrick (an expert in the field of human rights in post-Soviet countries from the USA).
The Moscow Helsinki Group is the oldest active human rights organization in Russia. It was created in 1972 by Soviet human rights activists and dissidents. MHG makes sure that the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe is followed. The act was signed by 35 countries on the proposal of the Warsaw Pact allies. One of its points is respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.