May 26, 2017
Defending human rights activists and political prisoners is some of the most dangerous work a lawyer can do in Crimea. After years taking on these risky cases, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was today awarded a top international prize for human rights activists.
In Dublin, on 26 May 2017, Irish NGO Front Line Defenders named Emil the 2017 Laureate of its annual Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.
Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Emil has defended the persecuted Crimean Tatar minority, civil society activists and journalists. He also provides emergency response and documentation of rights violations during raids and searches of activists’ homes. In January 2017, Emil was on his way to the house of an activist that had been raided, when masked representatives from Crimea’s Centre for Counteracting Extremism detained him and took him to a local directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for interrogation. A district court found him guilty of “propagandising for extremist organisations” and sentenced him to ten days in detention.