Journalist Elena Milashina of Russia’s independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and Russian LGBT activist Igor Kochetkov will receive the 2018 Freedom Award at Freedom House’s 2018 Annual Awards event, on May 23, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
They together helped expose the widespread illegal detention, torture, and murder of gay men in Chechnya.
The organization will present its Leadership Award to Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States; and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in recognition of their commitment to democracy and their compassion for those suffering under authoritarianism.
“With remarkable courage, Elena Milashina and Igor Kochetkov helped bring Chechen authorities’ lawless, ultimately murderous campaign against gay men to the world’s attention,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.
“Their work, and the frightening risks it brought, make them truly deserving of our highest honor, the Freedom Award, which since 1943 has recognized individuals who selflessly champion freedom and democracy.”
Past winners of the Freedom Award include Chen Guangcheng, Vaclav Havel, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, and George C. Marshall.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Photo courtesy: Freedom House
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