Ruth Smeeth is the CEO of Index on Censorship. Ruth was a British Labour Party politician and a Member of Parliament from 2015 until 2019 representing the Potteries. Prior to that she was deputy director of anti-racist organisation, HOPE not hate. Ruth is a passionate campaigner and is usually found with a cup of tea in hand (mug made in Stoke-on-Trent obviously).
Jemimah Steinfeld has lived and worked in both Shanghai and Beijing where she has written on a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on youth culture, gender and censorship. She is the author of the book Little Emperors and Material Girls: Sex and Youth in Modern China, which was described by the FT as “meticulously researched and highly readable”. Jemimah has freelanced for a variety of publications, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Vice, CNN, Time Out and the Huffington Post. She has a degree in history from Bristol University and went on to study an MA in Chinese Studies at SOAS. She can be found tweeting @JFSteinfeld.
Contact: [email protected]
Martin Bright has over 30 years of experience as a journalist, working for the Observer, the Guardian and the New Statesman among others. He has worked on several high-profile freedom of expression cases often involving government secrecy. He broke the story of Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun, which was made into the movie Official Secrets (2019) starring Keira Knightley.
He is the founder of Creative Society, a youth employment charity set up in response to the economic crash of 2008.
Jessica Ní Mhainín has experience in international human rights advocacy through her work at Front Line Defenders and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She holds a Master’s degree in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe (Bruges), where she specialised in peace and conflict studies.
Contact: [email protected]
Emma Sandvik Ling joined Index in April 2021, focusing on Index events and partnerships.
She has previous experience producing events within both a British and an international context. Emma holds an MA in International Peace and Security from King’s College London, where she specialised in cyber security and Just War Theory.
David Sewell had 20 years of experience of finance management in retail before joining Index in 2009. He is a highly experienced and talented finance professional. He leads Index’s financial reporting, budget management and ensures sound governance according to charities laws and guidelines. He has also taken on the role of HR director and is responsible for office management.
Contact: [email protected]
Guilherme Osinski is a journalist from Brazil who came to Liverpool for a master’s degree at John Moores University. In 2017, he spent three months in a well-known newspaper from São Paulo, after being chosen as one of 30 students for that course. He is currently the editorial assistant at Index on Censorship and the 2021-22 Tim Hetherington Fellow.
Contact: [email protected]
Kaya Genc is a contributing editor for Index on Censorship based in Istanbul. Kaya is a novelist and journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Paris Review and The London Review of Books among others. He is has a PhD in English literature and his first novel, L’Avventura (Macera), was published in 2008. His latest book is The Lion and the Nightingale, which tells of his extraordinary quest to find the places and people in whom the contrasts of Turkey’s rich past meet.
Rachael Jolley is an award-winning journalist and the former editor-in-chief of Index on Censorship magazine. Having started as a news reporter on a regional newspaper, she moved on to writing for magazines, newspapers and websites in the UK and internationally (including The Times, the Financial Times and The Guardian). She writes regularly for the New Statesman and other publications and co-wrote the play Murdering The Truth (Greenwich Theatre).
Laura Silvia Battaglia is a contrbuting editor to Index on Censorship, living between Italy and Sanaa, Yemen. She is an Italian freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker who contributes from Yemen for several international media outlets.
She has focused on reporting from conflict zones since 2007, including Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and the Syrian border.
Cecily Donovan graduated from Boston University with degrees in International Relations and Political Science in 2019. She currently lives in New York City working in economic development for Invest Northern Ireland, a UK government agency. She has a background in state government, French language and politics, and European affairs. Donovan is passionate about women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact of authoritarianism on freedom of expression globally.
Claes Kirkeby Theilgaard works as the editor-in-chief of the Danish online newspaper 180Grader. He is set to begin his studies in business and communications at the Copenhagen Business School. Theilgaard has worked in journalism and in various political organisations with the aim of furthering democracy and freedom, which has resulted in violent threats and other forms of intimidation. These experiences have made him more motivated to fight for the cause of free speech. Theilgaard is currently working to launch a campaign against “hate speech” laws in Denmark, as well as an organisation to fight censorship and work for free speech both in Denmark and abroad.
Sneha Sharma graduated from the Asian College of Journalism with a postgraduate diploma in journalism (new media) and is now a journalist for The Times of India. She previously worked as a reporter for the International Business Times. Sharma is concerned about the issues around press freedom in her country. She is an advocate for open discourse in the hope that it will lead to solutions. Sharma has an avid interest in governance, ecology, environment and urban planning.
Aliyah Kaitlyn Orr (pen name A.K. Nephtali) is a college student in Britain. Orr has been inspired by the power of words ever since a novel helped them realise their gender-neutral identity. Orr writes inclusive fiction that aims to empower LGBTQ+ people around the world. One of their short stories will be published in a digital anthology by the end of 2020.
Siphesihle Fali is in her final year studying English literature & language, and media and writing at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Fali is passionate about expanding her knowledge on societal constructs and the definitions of freedom. She aspires to create real conversations around the right to freedom of expression for the most censored and vulnerable communities, to safeguard and protect their rights. Fali’s interests lie mostly with the rights of women and children, and she intends on dedicating her career to being a voice for those who are denied one.
Pablo Aguera is a research fellow for Research ICT Africa working on digital rights, data justice and internet access and use. Aguera has produced creative multimedia projects and worked with social enterprises and youth movements across multiple countries. He holds a BSc in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Warwick, and is currently completing a dual master’s degree in global media and communications at the London School of Economics and the University of Cape Town.
Carmen Ferri is a digital rights activist based in Canada. She obtained an undergraduate degree in cultural studies and sociology at Maastricht University, Netherlands, and a master’s degree from the University of Amsterdam in new media and digital culture. During her studies, she worked on projects related to disinformation, hate speech and subcultural expression on digital platforms. Ferri has completed two internships with the Association for Progressive Communications. She worked as a policy analyst intern researching counter-hate speech movements in Asia, then as a communications research intern where she implemented a project examining actors and discourses within digital rights spaces on social media.
Subhan Hasanli is a 25 year old lawyer, who works with local and international human rights organisations in Azerbaijan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Nakhichevan State University. His goal is to promote the rule of law and human rights, and he hopes to achieve changes in these fields. Hasanli’s hobbies include catching fish, playing chess and reading books about science, politics, and philosophy. His favourite book is Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger.