The Russian organisation, The Committee against Torture, has won the 2011 Human Rights Prize.
It was awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
The bi-ennial prize is in recognition of outstanding action in the defence of human rights in Europe.
Igor Kalyapin is the Chairman of the Committee against Torture.
“I hope it will help us to be a better heard, to speak loudly about the problems we have in Russia and particularly in Chechnya.”
One member of the jury panel, Dick Marty, paid particular tribute to the work of the group of 45 lawyers in the North Caucusus and Chechnya region.
“I had to see the opportunity to see their work at first hand, and it’s extraordinary in the sense that they are a team of young lawyers who assist victims, parents, and they do everything possible to ensure that the judicial machine is put into action. They fight impunity, and I must say that in this country (Russia) impunity is almost universal.”
The award isn’t just about the 10,000 euros prize money. It is a way of keeping human rights in Europe in the spotlight. Nominations for the 2013 contest must be in by the end of September.