Panelist

Dr Alaa Shehabi, an economics lecturer and writer turned activist at the wake of the 2011 protests in Bahrain, is a founding member of Bahrain Watch, an advocacy group campaigning for transparency and accountability in Bahrain through research and evidence-based activism. Alaa seeks to uncover the specific ways in which the Bahraini regime tries to maintain its hold on power and supress all forms...
She is a Burmese opposition politician and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, holder of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which she was submitted by Vaclav Havel in 1991. The ruling military junta put her under house arrest in 1989 and offered to release her if she left the country. She refused and wasn’t released until 2010.
He is a writer and dissident from Azerbaijan. Milli was imprisoned in 2009 for two and a half years for his critical views about the government. He was conditionally released in November 2010, after serving 16 months of his sentence. From 2002-2004, Milli was director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and also advised the Council of Europe on more than 40 cases of political prisoners in...
He started his social and political activism in the 60’s, in 1980 he co-founded the Polish trade union “Solidarity”. This mass-supported social movement became a strong opponent to the communist regime. From 1989 to 2001 he was a Deputy of Sejm and later became co-chairman of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.
In 1985 he became a student at the Beijing University and quickly got involved in politics. The university had a long tradition of activism. By 1989 he became the student leader of the biggest pro-democracy protests China had ever seen – on Tiananmen Square. They ended with a massacre and Jiang was jailed for 18 months. He finally escaped from China and was granted political asylum. He now lives...
He is the Director of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE / RL) Azerbaijani Service, which broadcasts from the Czech Republic. Prior to this engagement he was a television and radio reporter at Voice of America in Washington, DC, where he specialized in political affairs and energy policy. In 2003 he won the Voice of America Gold Medal Award for professional achievement. He also worked as an...
He is a leading Burmese opposition activist and dissident, winner of numerous awards including Homo Homini 2000, which he couldn’t personally receive until last year. He was a leading figure in the student movement of 1988 and he spent almost 15 years in jail for organizing student protests. After his release he was repeatedly arrested, and left the prison for good in 2012 thanks to an amnesty,...
Is a veteran investigative journalist from Donetsk. He has worked as the editor of the regional news website Novosti Donbassa, which charts politics, corruption, and abuses of authority, for the past 10 years. In August 2011, an unidentified intruder set Matsuka’s apartment on fire following the publication of several articles on the embezzlement of public funds by senior regional officials. In...
He is a lawyer and dissident, defender of activists and political prisoners. He co-founded the organization of lawyers Corriente Agramontista, which seeks to improve the Cuban legal system, reform the judiciary and ensure greater respect for the rule of law. He was imprisoned several times and Amnesty International designated him three times as “prisoner of conscience”. He became famous for his...
She was a professor of mathematics at the University of Moscow until the 80’s. During the Nagorno-Karabakh war, she provided support for refugees. In 1990 she co-founded the NGO Civic Assistance (Graždanskoe Sodejstvie) and led campaigns for the protection of human rights, focusing in particular on the integration of migrants and refugees. Svetlana Gannushkin is also co-founder of the Human...
She is a Cuban blogger and human rights activist who has achieved international recognition. She has won numerous international awards. Her blog, hosted abroad as it is banned in Cuba, brings a look at life on the island. In May 2014, she launched the news website 14ymedio.com, which is an attempt to independent journalism in communist Cuba. She was arrested and detained several times. After...
Dashkevich was imprisoned in 2006, when he openly supported opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich in the presidential elections. He was arrested together with other dwellers of a large camp site set on a square in Minsk, which emerged in protest against the faked presidential elections and was later brutally dispelled. Since then he was imprisoned in a labor camp and tried on various other...