Russian human rights defender Tanya Lokshina continues against all odds | Globalization | DW.DE | 12.06.2013

June 12, 2013

In the series Storytellers, Deutsche Welle gives the floor to Tanya Lokshina of HRW who has worked for 15 years in of the most difficult regions: Russia itself and conflict-ridden volatile areas like Chechnya and Dagestan as well as South Ossetia.

At first glance, Tanya Lokshina may not be the kind of person you would expect to travel to some of Russia’s most dangerous areas on a regular basis. But the small, frail-looking woman with longish, red-dyed hair has been doing exactly that.

….Lokshina started working with human rights in Russia in 1998. She had just arrived from the United States, where she had lived with her parents since 1990 and received her education as a journalist. From the US, she worked as a freelance correspondent for several Russian media before deciding to return to her home country, where she had been offered a job at a media outlet. But upon her return, the 1998 economic crisis struck in full force, and with no job and no money she found herself stuck in Moscow. That’s when she heard that the Moscow Helsinki Group urgently needed a staff member with a good command of English.

And then, even though for the first couple of years I was really thinking about getting back to journalism, I just got sucked in,” she says. “The issues in which I had to work were extremely fascinating. It was also about dealing with people and helping people.“…”That’s when I got very passionate about my work,” she says. “Just being able to document those horrid abuses in Chechnya, being able to interview victims and witnesses, to give a voice to the victims, to help them in that way, to help them tell their stories. It was really very meaningful.

read the full interview at: Russian rights activist fights on against all odds | Globalization | DW.DE | 12.06.2013.

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