Panelists and Trainers 2016

  • Alexander N.H Holmberg
    Alexander N.H Holmberg is an experienced and acclaimed trainer in communication and leadership, specialised in interpersonal communication. Alexander, with a background in journalism, is recognised as one of the top leadership trainers in Sweden, and a renowned expert in a leading leadership magazine and in Swedish television.
  • Alfredo Romero
    Alfredo Romero is Executive Director of Foro Penal Venezolano (FPV), one of the most prominent human rights organisations in Venezuela, which provides assistance to victims of state repression. Alfredo Romero is Professor of Public Law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, visiting scholar at the Carr Center for Human Rights policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the author of various articles and books about public and constitutional law, human rights and crimes against humanity. Alfredo holds a law degree from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Caracas, an MA from Georgetown University and an LLM from The London School of Economics.
  • Ana Furtuna
    Ana Furtuna is Programme Officer within the Eurasia Department at Civil Rights Defenders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the State University of Moldova and a master’s degree in Political Science from the Academy of Public Administration. Previously, she worked as Executive Director of the Non-Discrimination Coalition (CND), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to strengthening equality and combatting discrimination within the Moldavian society. Since 2011, she has been part of the CND team tasked to lobby for the adoption of an equality law and the creation of a council for the prevention and elimination of discrimination and the ensurance of equality.


  • Aryeh Neier
    Aryeh Neier is President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations. He was President from 1993 to 2012. Prior to that, as a co-founder of Human Rights Watch he served for 12 years as Executive Director. He worked 15 years at the American Civil Liberties Union and has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University for more than 12 years. He is the author of seven books and has contributed to more than 300 op-ed articles in newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The International Herald Tribune.
  • Ben Leather
    Ben Leather is Advocacy and Communications Manager at International Service for Human Rights – ISHR. He joined the organisation in January 2014 after five years working for the protection of at-risk human rights defenders with Peace Brigades International (PBI) in Mexico. As PBI Mexico’s Advocacy Coordinator, he was involved in drafting the law for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists, as well as designing PBI’s first advocacy training programme for activists. At ISHR, Ben carries out advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council, coordinates training courses in international advocacy for human rights defenders and is jointly responsible for all communications.
  • Benedicte Berner
    Benedicte Berner is Chairperson of the Board at Civil Rights Defenders. She is a media analyst and a consultant working with media projects in Russia. She also trains journalists in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region). She formerly worked for the International Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Moscow. Benedicte has also been Director of International Issues at the European Institute for the Media in Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • David Mothander
    David Mothander joined Google in 2010 and leads the company's government relations in the Nordics, Estonia and Latvia. David focuses on the impact of the Internet and the economic, cultural, social and the regulatory framework around this issue. Prior to Google David worked for the mobile operator 3, the Swedish NRA (National Research Agenda) and held different positions in the sphere of law. David holds an LLM from the University of Stockholm.
  • Eleanor Farrow
    Eleanor Farrow is Project Coordinator for eyeWitness to Atrocities. Eleanor engages with a worldwide network of human rights and media activists, journalists, photographers and NGOs using photos and video to document human rights violations. Her publications include ‘Verifying Eyewitness Media: Increasing Impact,’ in the MediaShift Idea Lab, February 2016. Eleanor has an LLB in Law, as well as an LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice. As part of her LLM, she conducted fieldwork in Malaysia, research on Tunisia’s revolution and the Arab Spring and specialised in transitional justice, humanitarian intervention, asylum migration, human trafficking, public policy and activism.
  • Emma Holten
    Emma Holten is a feminist and human rights activist. Her political activism was initiated when she became a victim of non-consensual pornography in 2011. In 2014 she created the photo series CONSENTS along with photographer Cecilie Bødker to highlight the issue of online sexual violations. Emma is a co-founder and editor of the standard critical magazine Friktion and also a student at the University of Copenhagen. She speaks in both national and global contexts of feminism, digital activism and why privacy on the internet is crucial to a dynamic democracy where every person has equal rights regardless of gender, race and sexual orientation.
  • Ena Bavcic
    Ena Bavcic is Programme Officer at Civil Rights Defenders office in Sarajevo. She started working in April 2014 as an administrative assistant. Ena holds a master’s degree in Human Rights and Democracy and a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. As a human rights defender, she has worked and acted within numerous NGO’s both in Bosnia & Herzegovina and abroad. Ena is also the author of several documentary films.
  • Erik Jennische
    Erik Jennische is Programme Director for the Latin America Department at Civil Rights Defenders. He holds an MA in Sociology, specialising in democratisation processes. He has also worked with democracy promotion in Latin America as well as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. From 2010 – 2013 he worked as a journalist in Brazil.
  • Erka Koivunen
    Erka Koivunen is Cyber Security Advisor at F-Secure. He is a former head of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Finland. Companies, governments and a variety of other organisations consult with Erka extensively on everything from risk assessment to incident response. He has also testified as an expert witness for the EU, Finnish, and British Parliaments. Erka's willingness to cut through media hype and jargon to get his message across is why he's become one of the world's foremost cyber security advisors.
  • Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala
    Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala is a journalist, technologist and a human rights defender. Between 2001 and 2008 he worked as a radio journalist at Radio Sapientia. In 2008 he joined the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ) as National Coordinator, which he headed for six years. After that he joined the Unwanted Witness – an ICT organisation that monitors, documents and investigates online attacks, offers legal support and representation to victims of online attacks and builds online platforms for vulnerable communities, NGOs and self-help groups. In 2013 Geoffrey was awarded the European Union Human Rights Defender Award. 

  • Goran Miletić
    Goran Miletić is Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders. He holds a master’s of Law from Belgrade University together with a European Regional MA in Democracy and Human Rights. He has previously worked for the Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade where his focus was on minority rights. He started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2004 as Programme Officer and later as a human rights lawyer for the Western Balkans. Goran's work includes co-operation and support for different human rights and minority NGOs throughout the Western Balkans.
  • Hannah Smith
    Hannah Smith works with digital security training, curriculum and methodology and has been with Tactical Tech since 2013. Most recently her focus has been on the Holistic Security Project, which seeks to integrate digital, physical and psycho-social approaches to security for the protection of human rights defenders.
  • Inmaculada Barcia
    Inmaculada Barcia is a human rights lawyer with more than 20-year track record working with academic institutions, NGOs, and international organisations, in the capacity of overseeing the development and implementation of capacity-building and advocacy activities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As Head of International Service for Human Right’s Regional and National Human Rights Defenders Program, she worked with NGO partners and national human rights institutions on how to work with the United Nations Human Rights Council, the special procedures, the UPR, and the treaty bodies. She has also worked as a consultant with different NGOs and international organizations such as OHCHR, UNICEF and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), where she is currently conducting research on the impact of the mining industry on the work and security of women human rights defenders.
  • Joan Audierne
    Joan Audierne is Head of Secretariat for ProtectDefenders.eu, the new EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism implemented by international civil society, since its launch in October 2015. Before taking this position, she worked for nine years for NGOs and for the International Committee of the Red Cross, where she held management positions in conflict and post-conflict areas in Africa and former Soviet states. Joan holds two master's degrees, one in international relations from Paris Institute for Political Sciences and one in development and projects evaluation from La Sorbonne University.
  • Jolanta Cihanovica
    Jolanta Cihanovica is a human rights activist from Latvia and co-founder of “Mozaika”, the only Latvian LGBT organisation as well as “Dia+Logs”, a resource centre for people affected by HIV/AIDS. She is also a clinical psychologist, as well as an internationally acclaimed organisational consultant.
  • Jonas Lindgren
    Jonas Lindgren has been a correspondent and foreign editor for the Swedish news agency, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. Jonas Lindgren has also a wide range of experience working with Swedish Television and Reuters. He is Senior Advisor who specialises in media relations and crisis management.
  • Justin Kosslyn
    Justin Kosslyn is Lead Product Manager at Jigsaw, designing and launching tools against oppression. Among other projects, he led the strategy, development and launch of Password Alert and the Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network. Prior to Jigsaw, he led improvements to Google News, Google AdSense for TV, and Google Docs. Justin holds a BS in Computer Science from Yale. He recently returned to Yale to teach a full-credit seminar on "Technology Design for Global Challenges” through the Global Affairs program. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and serves as Open Technology Fellow at New America.
  • Kamau Ngugi
    Kamau Ngugi is Executive Coordinator of the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Kenya. He founded the Secretariat of the national organisation in 2011 to work towards a safe working space for human rights defenders in the country. The Human Rights Defenders Coalition has become a dependable support mechanism for activists in Kenya, particularly those at remote areas, and marginalised and discriminated groups where human rights violations are routinely carried out. He has also worked with other human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International.
  • Karen White
    Karen White is Senior Public Policy Manager for Europe at Twitter. She joined the company in 2014 having worked in government affairs for a number of years in Brussels and Ireland. Karen also worked as a political and economic researcher in Trinity College Dublin and holds a BA in European Studies and an MSc. in European Economics and Public Affairs from University College Dublin. She is @karenwhite on Twitter.
  • Magdalena Lind
    Magdalena Lind is a political scientist who specialises in democratisation processes and conflict studies. Magdalena is also the co-founder of Metis Services AB, an organisation dedicated to providing intelligence driven strategies, enabling security solutions and capacity building programmes within the business community, media, NGOs and governmental agencies. Magdalena draws on more than ten years of field experience from her service with the Swedish Armed Forces.
  • Maria Starck
    Maria Starck is a feminist communications strategist and the co-founder of communications bureau Madder. She received Sweden’s most prestigious communications award in 2015 for her role as a digital strategist for the political party, Feminist Initiative, ahead of the 2014 elections where she was central in devising the party’s successful social media campaign. Prior to that, Maria worked as a social media expert at ActionAid and Amnesty International’s Swedish section.
  • Marie Månson
    Marie Månson is Programme Director for the Human Rights Defenders at Risk Department at Civil Rights Defenders. She began working for the organisation in 1997, as a Programme Officer for the Western Balkans and then as Office Manager. Marie has also held the position Programme Director for the Western Balkans. Previously, she worked for the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Marie holds an MA in International Relations.
  • Martin L. Fällman
    Martin L. Fällman is an experienced Internet activist. He has worked with the Telecomix activist network during the Arab Spring to reinstate Internet connectivity in Egypt and reveal the surveillance equipment that was used in Tunisia and Syria. As a freelance trainer, he has also provided digital security training to journalists and activists from many parts of the world. Up until recently he coordinated an anti-censorship project for the Swedish NGO, Juliagruppen. Today Martin works as Protection Officer for the Human Rights Defenders at Risk Department at Civil Rights Defenders.
  • Martin Schibbye
    Martin Schibbye is a well-renowned freelance journalist from Sweden. Schibbye has contracted for a number of media outlets including leading newspapers and magazines in Scandinavia, such as Svenska Dagbladet, Aftenposten, Fokus and Dagbladet, as well as publications in Austria, Belgium, France and the UK. He received the Freelance Award in 2012, the 2012 Anna Politkovskaya Memorial Award, and the Reporters Without Borders’ 2013 Press Freedom Prize. Today he works as Editor-in-Chief for Blank Spot Project, a crowdfunded initiative that covers stories outside of the media's attention.
  • Michel Forst
    In 2014, Michel Forst was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders. Michael has extensive experience with human rights issues, including human rights defenders, the rights of children with disabilities, extreme poverty and the elderly. He has held a number of leading positions within the field of human rights, including the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, Cimade (Comité inter-mouvements auprès des évacués), UNESCO and Amnesty International in France. From 2008–2013, he was the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti. From 2012–2013 he served as Chair of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Michel is also a former member of the board of the International Service for Human Rights and a founding member of Front Line Defenders.
  • Mona Sahlin
    Mona Sahlin is a Swedish politician and the first female leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. She held the position as Party Chair between 2007 and 2011. Mona was also a Member of Parliament, representing Stockholm County, and has held various ministerial posts during her carrier, such as Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Housing; Minister for Justice Democracy, Integration, Human Rights, Sports, Metropolitan Affairs and Gender Equality and Minister for Industry Employment, Integration, Metropolitan Affairs IT and Telecommunications. Throughout her political life, Mona has been working for tolerance and democratic values. In 2014 she became Sweden's official coordinator for protecting democracy against violent extremism, working to improve cooperation between government agencies, municipalities and organisations at national, regional and local level to protect democracy against violent extremism. Mona is also responsible for increasing knowledge about violent extremism and promotion of the development of preventive methods.
  • Nathalie Besèr
    Nathalie Besèr is Foreign Policy Adviser to the Swedish Parliament and a Middle East expert. Over 18 years she has been working as a journalist, focusing mainly on the Middle East and North Africa. She has been employed by Swedish Radio, Dagens Nyheter and the news agency TT. She is a founder of the news platform middleeastobserver.org covering the events in the Middle East. Her latest publication is ”The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood”, published at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Nathalie is also regularly moderating international discussions and seminars.
  • Olga Sadovskaya
    Olga Sadovskaya is Vice Chair of the Russian NGO the Committee to Prevent Torture, formerly known as the Committee Against Torture, which was the first human rights organisation to specialise in monitoring the issues of torture in Russia, in particular torture claims and the medical rehabilitation of torture victims. The organisation has many years of experience in dealing with torture claims and as a result has been able to comprehensively analyse the prevalence of torture and other forms of ill treatment, the reasons for it and therefore develop methods to prevent it. CAT has received numerous awards: PACE Human Rights Award 2011, Frontline Award 2011 and the Martin Annals Award for its investigation activities in Chechnya. In 2015 CAT was liquidated after being registered as a Foreign Agent and since then has operated under a consortium of several NGO’s. Olga has been working with human rights issues since 2001 and joined CAT in 2002 as International Protection Lawyer.
  • Peter Öholm
    Peter Öholm works as Protection Officer for the Human Rights Defenders at Risk Department at Civil Rights Defenders. Before joining the organisation, Peter worked as a journalist during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was stationed in Makarska and Tuzla. He has also worked as a Reporter at Arbetaren, Aftonbladet, TV4, Ekot SR and Stockholm News. Peter started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2004, first as Programme Officer for the Western Balkans and then for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
  • Robert Godden
    Robert Godden is a human rights campaigner and photographer who uses visual media for positive social change. Previously, he was with Amnesty International for 15 years and from 2004 the organisation’s Asia-Pacific Campaign Coordinator based in London, Kathmandu, and Hong Kong. He holds an MA in South Asian Area Studies from SOAS, University of London, and is an alumnus of New York University Tisch School of the Arts/Magnum Foundation Photography & Human Rights programme.
  • Robert Hårdh
    Robert Hårdh is Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders. He began working for the organisation as a human rights lawyer in 1999 and was appointed Executive Director in 2000. Robert holds a Master of Laws degree from Uppsala University, specialising in human rights. His past experience in human rights includes Amnesty International where he was as an active member in the organisation’s lawyers group in Sweden and a member of the board in the Swedish section from 1998–2000. He is a member of the board of the Expo Foundation, which is a privately-owned research foundation established in 1995 with the aim of studying and mapping anti-democratic, right-wing extremist and racist tendencies in society.
  • Rodrigo Diamanti
    Rodrigo Diamanti is a well-known human rights defender from Venezuela, currently at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, USA. He holds degrees in Economics and Political Studies. In 2007 Rodrigo co-created the historical Students Movement and two years later he founded the NGO Un Mundo Sin Mordaza (A world without censorship) to promote and defend human rights worldwide. Based in Caracas, Venezuela, the organization has been able to successfully go abroad and has volunteers in more than 100 cities around the globe. With Un Mundo Sin Mordaza, Rodrigo has created art movements to promote human rights.
  • Santiago Andrigo
    Santiago Andrigo leads Jigsaw's newest product initiatives to protect the highest-risk users facing oppression in the world. Prior to joining Jigsaw, he worked on Google Shopping, internationalising the product to 11 new markets, launching optimisation features to thousands of merchant partners and crafting the new generation mobile transactions platform. Born and raised in Argentina, Santiago, he holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Buenos Aires, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. While there, he conducted field research and a business plan for the launch of a new agribusiness related MBA program in Mozambique, serving Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Shui-Meng Ng
    Shui-Meng Ng works with the Sombath Initiative, and has lived in Laos since 1986 but originally comes from Singapore. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Hawaii and also has a long history of involvement in aid and development issues. From 1976 to 1986, Shui- Meng was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. She worked with UNICEF in Laos, China and Timor-Leste from 1986 to 2008 and has also served as a UNICEF representative in Timor-Leste from 2004 to 2008.
  • Sofia Jannok
    Sofia Jannok is a Swedish-Sami artist, singer, songwriter. This spring, four years after her latest album, she released her third record - ”Áhpi – wide as oceans”, in which she presents a strong message about people's struggle for freedom and origin. With a dynamic and atmospheric sound Sofia reveals the struggle of the indigenous people for acceptance and equal rights. Nerve and unrestrained forces of nature are mixed with lyrics in northern Sami and English, with a starting point in Jannok’s own life. “Music is my way of trying to make a change. I would like to share my world with people in Europe. Music has no borders; it brings us together. I want to see a world where everyone has the same rightful place regardless if you are indigenous, immigrant, woman or man", she says.
  • Théo Jaekel
    Théo Jaekel holds an LLM in Human Rights Law and works as a researcher at Swedwatch, where he also serves as Head of Advisory and Training Services. His areas of expertise are in extractive industries, conflict minerals, electronics and public procurement. Theo is also an expert on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and works as a lecturer of Law at Stockholm University.


  • Tora Candal
    Tora Candal is an interpreter and interrogator and has worked with the Swedish Armed forces since 2009. In 2011 she began working as a hostage situation survival instructor for the Swedish Armed Forces Survival School and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. Tora is currently finishing her law degree at Stockholm University.