In 1966, Mustafa Dzhemilev was kicked out of university for refusing to serve in the army, as part of a Crimean Tatar movement in resistance to the Soviet government. Following his expulsion, he became part of a dissent movement, protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He was imprisoned for 15 years for signing letters in defense of prisoners of conscience. While imprisoned, he went on a 303-day hunger strike in protest of this imprisonment. In 2014, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation awarded him the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom.