09 May 2014

ECRE’s deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Elena Ryabinina, the tireless Russian human rights defender, who died this week on 4 May, after a long illness. Elena had been working with refugees and migrants in Russia since 1999. She was one of the foremost defenders of the rights of refugees from Central Asia in Russia and an expert in the defence of refugees from extradition to countries where they were at risk of persecution. For the past four years she had been Head of the Right to Asylum programme of the Human Rights Institute, and had worked for many years before that for the Civic Assistance Committee. Family, friends, colleagues and those she assisted, have all spoken of how she would help people at any time of the day or night, rushing to aid people who had been arrested, travelling to court cases on behalf of those at risk, taking cases to the European Court of Human Rights, writing articles and publications, and fighting for better treatment and for the rights of refugees in Russia. She will be sadly missed by all.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 9 May 2014.
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