Marius is our Regional Representative in Central Asia.
“Despite a steady influx of dispiriting news – when people you know are imprisoned, the authorities in a country you care deeply about eradicate free speech, or when peaceful activists are tortured – this remains the world’s most rewarding job.”
Being our Regional Representative in Central Asia, Marius is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he has led the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Representative Office since April 2015. During a regular week he may interview relatives of torture victims, observe court trials against activists, write press releases about gross human rights violations, coordinate project-based activities with local partners, give statements to the press or write articles and op-eds.
On occasions somewhat rarer his work week may consist of election monitoring, travels in the region, meetings with government representatives and – thankfully – celebrations when for instance a long-imprisoned journalist is released in Uzbekistan or a human rights organization defeats the authorities in the Kazakhstani Supreme Court.
“That are efforts are worthwhile is proven by our victories – when a political prisoner is finally released or when an activist evades persecution, torture and unlawful imprisonment. And nothing in the world compares to the feeling when you have contributed to that.”
Marius has been passionate about human rights since his university days when he joined the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights as a student volunteer. Before joining our team, he studied Russian at the University of Bergen. He has also worked in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.
Related to Marius
Tajikistan’s Magnitsky: The Case for a Global Magnitsky Act
Some hope and much despair: Political prisoners in Central Asia
At the foot of the Tian-Shan mountains, the struggle continues about which direction Kyrgyzstan should take. After two revolutions, the answer is still not given.
In Central Asia’s largest country modern cities blend with monuments of Soviet past and ancient nomadic traditions.
North of Afghanistan and west of China lies Tajikistan – the poorest of all former Soviet republics, and perhaps the most beautiful among them!
Located in the very heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan has developed its own unique culture that separates it from the surrounding nomadic nations.
On the rare occasion when Turkmenistan is mentioned in the media, it is often in connection with something ludicrous undertaken by the country’s President. For Turkmens themselves, the situation is anything but comical.