Panelists and Trainers 2018

  • Alban Muriqi
    Alban Muriqi is a Project Manager at the Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT). In his work, he counsels and represents convicted and pretrial detainees, monitors court cases, and carries out advocacy and lobbying to amend legislation and national strategies. He particularly focuses on human rights in prisons, police detention centers, and mental health institutions.
  • Alexander Lange
    Alexander Lange is the International Development Officer at Civil Rights Defenders, working on international fundraising and major gifts. A German-American dual citizen, he joined Civil Rights Defenders in 2017 after several years working for American political campaigns, including Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and as a political analyst. At Civil Rights Defenders, Alexander specialises in gaining a better understanding of what motivates donors and how to connect with them on that basis.
  • Alfredo Romero
    Alfredo Romero is the president of Foro Penal Venezolano, one of the most prominent human rights organisations in Venezuela. It consists of more than 4 000 activists who provide assistance to victims of state repression and register human rights abuses against dissident in Venezuela. Alfredo is a Professor of Public Law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He was a research fellow (2015-2016) at the Carr Center for Human Rights policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and is 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, a MA from Georgetown University and a LLM from The London School of Economics. He was named the 2017 laureate of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award​.
  • Anna Magnard
    Anna Magnard is the Development Director at Civil Rights Defenders. After a decade in the nonprofit sector, working with corporate partnerships and major donor relations, she is still passionate about finding out how a business angle can be connected to the nonprofit cause. Anna believes that it is key to build long-term relationships with donors, understand the incentives behind an investment in a cause, and balance the value for money for both parties in a partnership.
  • Annika Åkerberg
    Annika holds a law degree from Stockholm University and has worked with children’s rights and disability issues at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. She has also participated in several government commissions on human rights. In 2015, the United Nations Association of Sweden awarded her a prize for her work on human rights and discrimination. Annika joined Civil Rights Defenders as a Legal Adviser in September 2015.
  • Ben Leather
    Ben Leather is a campaigner for the protection of land and environmental rights defenders at Global Witness, and also provides training for local activists on security, advocacy and how to interact strategically with international human rights mechanisms. He was previously with the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), lobbying for human rights defender protection, corporate accountability, and a stronger UN. Ben also used to live and work in Mexico, providing international accompaniment and support for at-risk human rights defenders with Peace Brigades International (PBI). Follow him at @BenLeather1.
  • Benedicte Berner
    Benedicte Berner is the Chairperson of the Board at Civil Rights Defenders. Benedicte is a lecturer in media and democracy at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). She has also lectured on freedom of expression at Harvard University and is an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. She has previously worked at the International Red Cross and IOM (International Organization for Migration) in Moscow, and as director of International Issues at the European Institute for the Media.
  • César Rodríguez Garavito
    César is the founding Director of the Global Justice Program at the Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), co-founder and current executive director of the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) and co-director of the Global School on Socioeconomic Rights. He is a leader in action-research, combining rigorous scholarship with direct advocacy and institutional development in the area of human rights, as well as the author of numerous books and journal articles on globalisation, human rights, and social movements. César is also the founding director of the Human Rights Lab and he recently founded the JustLabs.
  • Claus Hesseling
    Claus Hesseling is the Director of Journalism Programs and Principal Trainer at Interlink Academy. He started working as an online journalist in 2001 and is a reporter and producer for Germany’s public TV and broadcasting network ARD. As a data journalist, he creates “data-driven” TV documentaries. For more than 15 years now, he has worked as a media trainer for journalism institutions and newsrooms around the globe. On behalf of Interlink Academy he currently is working on the EU-project “INJECT”, which creates a digital creativity tool for newsrooms.
  • Elle Armageddon
    Elle Armageddon is a US-born writer, activist, and street medic with a background in wilderness- and improvised medicine. Elle has spent the past several years learning, using, and sharing best practices for treating the myriad injuries likely to occur at any given protest, with a specialised focus on front-lines emergency care for high-conflict demonstrations.
  • Erik Jennische
    Erik Jennische is the 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 in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. From 2010-2013 he worked as a journalist in Brazil.
  • Gabrielle Gunneberg
    Gabrielle Gunneberg works with institutional donor relations at Civil Rights Defenders. She holds a MA in Political Science and Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and Lund University. Prior to joining Civil Rights Defenders she has worked with development issues and human rights for several civil society organisations, mainly in Asia and Sweden. She has also worked at the World Bank as a Social Development specialist, focusing on development and human rights issues in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
  • Jamila Raqib
    Jamila Raqib is a specialist in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action. She is the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which works to advance the research and application of nonviolent action worldwide. Since 2002, she has worked with Dr. Gene Sharp, the founder of the field of strategic nonviolent action. Jamila is currently a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she is exploring how innovations in technology and education can contribute to greater effectiveness in the study and application of nonviolent struggle. Her work includes the development of a curriculum intended to help groups prepare wise strategic plans to conduct struggles for the defence and attainment of their civil and political rights.
  • John Stauffer
    John is the Acting Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders. John is a human rights lawyer with a Master of Laws from Stockholm University. He has previously worked for the Ombudsman Against Ethnic Discrimination and the Equality Ombudsman where he was responsible for investigating cases of discrimination. John also spent time working with human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the conflict. During his four years working with the OSCE mission, John initially focused on creating conditions for the return of displaced persons. Later on, as the Director of the Human Rights Department, he was responsible for the organisation’s work on issues such as war crimes, rule of law, minority rights, and economic and social rights. John joined Civil Rights Defenders in March 2013.
  • Jolanta Cihanovica
    Jolanta Cihanovica is a human rights activist from Latvia and the co-founder of “Mozaika”, which is the only Latvian LGBT organisation. She is also the co-founder of “Dia+Logs”, a resource centre for people affected by HIV/AIDS. She is a clinical psychologist, as well as an internationally acclaimed organisational consultant and trainer. Jolanta does trainings in the field of psychological security, enhancing personal and organisational wellbeing, communication, strategic planning, and media communication.
  • Krizna Gomez
    Krizna is a senior researcher at Dejusticia and has worked as a Presidential Fellow at Open Society Foundations in New York as well as a human rights lawyer and law lecturer in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Krizna holds a LLM in International Human Rights Law from Harvard Law School, a BA in Political Science and a JD from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. She brings her experience in popular education, grassroots organising and linking educational initiatives to direct advocacy to the Lab.
  • Mathias Antonsson
    Mathias Antonsson is in charge of the Human Rights Innovation Initiative at Civil Rights Defenders. His previous experience includes the United Nations Secretariat in New York, where he received a UN 21 Award for his project management skills. Prior to that, Mathias has worked for the Embassy of Sweden in Australia, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and Kenya Ushahidi – a technology leader in Africa. Mathias is also the founder and CEO of Plurrify, an international podcast on innovation, social entrepreneurship and activism.
  • Mikael Ehrlington
    Mikael Ehrlington is the Development Officer at Civil Rights Defenders, working on fundraising and brand building. With a background in PR and marketing, he utilises his skills in storytelling, conceptualisation and integrated communication in order to attract new private and corporate donors. In short, he knows how to engage people on a tight budget through a creative, but structured, approach – like the time he convinced a small 250-year-old paint company to try to put a red cottage on the moon through crowdfunding. It failed, but not before a billion people had been reached by the news of it.
  • Mikko Hyppönen
    Mikko Hypponen is a security expert. He has worked at F-Secure since 1991, and fought the biggest virus outbreaks in the Internet history. He has been a speaker at the TED talks three times, and he has addressed the most important security conferences worldwide. Mikko has also written about his research in the New York Times and Wired.
  • Nadin Yamaui
    Nadin Yamaui, a 24-year-old system engineer, is the systems manager at the human rights organisation Foro Penal Venezolano. He is also the creator of the organisation's automated registration process of arbitrary detentions in Venezuela. He started developing the database due to the wave of protests in the country in 2014, and today it includes both the victims of human rights violations, and their defence lawyers. In addition, the system helps to support various reports related to human rights violations in the country. Nadin also holds the position as technical director at the systems company Caag Software, and he is one of the founders of HQ Rental Software.
  • Olle Segerdahl
    Having worked with both “breaking” and ”building” security solutions for more than 18 years, Olle Segerdahl is a veteran within the IT security industry. Prior to joining F-Secure as a principal security consultant, he worked on verifying the security of cryptographic products, and co-founded a start-up that built software whitelisting solutions that are used in industrial robots and medical equipment. Olle regularly speaks at information security conferences, and he is also co-founder of one of them – the SEC-T hacker conference in Stockholm.
  • Ramy Essam
    In 2011 Ramy Essam exploded into international fame as the voice of the Egyptian revolution. His songs spread like wildfire among the demonstrators, and during the height of the uprising, Ramy performed in front of millions of people in the Tahir Square. The songs became the soundtrack of a whole generation of young Egyptians’ struggle for a better future. But fame came at a heavy price and attempts have been made to silence him through torture, arrests and censorship. His songs were banned and he was unable to perform public shows. Still, he came out even stronger and more determined to speak out against the oppression.
  • Ronan Costello
    Ronan works as part of Twitter’s Public Policy team in Dublin. The team covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and represents Twitter with government and civil society. Ronan leads on Third-Party Outreach & Government Partnerships, and also oversees Twitter’s Ads for Good programme. Prior to joining Twitter, Ronan managed media and communications for the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), devising the communications strategies for a number of welfare and education campaigns. He has also worked for Áras an Uachtaráin (Office of the President of Ireland) and Trinity College Students’ Union. He is @Ronan_Costello on Twitter.
  • Sam Gregory
    Sam is the Program Director of WITNESS which empowers anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to fight for human rights. He also teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School. An award-winning human rights advocate, video producer and technologist, Sam has worked on impactful campaigns worldwide, developed innovative training tools and programmes reaching many activists and movements, and collaborated on critical tools like ObscuraCam and ProofMode. In 2015, he launched the ‘Mobil-Eyes Us’ initiative, combining immersive live video with smart task-routing within networks to drive more meaningful activism. Sam supervises WITNESS’ Media Lab, focused on innovation in eyewitness video for human rights, and WITNESS’ Tech + Advocacy work, which advocates to technology companies on how their platforms are used for human rights change.
  • Tora Candal
    Tora is an interrogator, interpreter and lawyer, and has worked with the Swedish Armed Forces since 2009. Since 2011, she is a hostage situation survival instructor for the Swedish Armed Forces Survival School and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. Tora works in migration law and is a personal security consultant for Civil Rights Defenders and other organisations.