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Alsu Kurmasheva

HRD, journalist
Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Liberty

Alsu Kurmasheva is a woman human rights defender, journalist and the editor of the Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Liberty. Her work focuses on the struggle faced by ethnic and religious minorities, including Volga and Crimean Tatars. She has been working with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty since 1998 and is the editor of Idel.Realii. In 2014, Alsu Kurmasheva published an interview with Mustafa Dzhemilev, a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine and head of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars, in which he criticised Crimea's annexation. Following this line of work, she again collaborated with Idel.Realii in publishing the book No to War in November 2022. This told the story of  the residents of the Volga region who oppose the war in Ukraine. Alsu Kurmasheva has Russian and American citizenship and lives in Prague with her family.

The environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation is difficult, especially for those who defend and promote the rights of LGBTI people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees, as well as activists of the North Caucasus and the unlawfully annexed Crimean Peninsula. HRDs are often subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threat, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. There have also been cases where HRDs have been murdered as a result of their work.