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Lilia Hemedzhy

Lilia Hemedzhy

HRD, Lawyer

Lilia Hemedzhy is a Crimean Tatar human rights defender and lawyer. Lilia is one of the leading activists working to defend the rights of Crimean Tatars, an ethnic minority group whose persecution at the hands of the Russian government has intensified following the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Over the past 4 years Lilia has received threats and warnings from the Russian security forces and police aiming to intimidate her into silence. In defiance of the pressure, in 2017-2018, Lilia launched a school of public defenders and from this, she created the initiative of “Crimean Solidarity”. In 2019, the Dutch Government presented Lilia the Human Rights Tulip award. Despite facing continuous threats and harassment for her work, Lilia continues to defend political prisoners and to raise international awareness about the human rights situation in Crimea.


Since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, HRDs who defend the rights of Crimean Tatars or ethnic Ukrainians, and those who monitor and document violations of human rights in the peninsula that is currently governed de facto by the Russian Federation became the main targets of systemic and severe intimidation and harassment. HRDs, journalists, lawyers, and bloggers in Crimea and eastern Ukraine have been repeatedly harassed by security forces and subjected to abduction, physical attacks, home searches, surveillance, interrogation, unlawful detention, criminal prosecution, accusations of alleged terrorism and propagation of extremism, deprivation of the right to a fair trial, forced psychiatric examinations, and threats to family members.