Robert van Voren (1959) is Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, and the Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. He ais also visiting professor at Boris Grinchenko University in Kyiv, Ukraine. In addition, he is Chief Executive of Human Rights in Mental Health-FGIP and on the board of several foundations in human rights and mental health. Starting in 1977 he became active in the Soviet human rights movement. For many years he traveled to the USSR as a courier, delivering humanitarian aid and smuggling out information on the situation in camps, prisons and psychiatric hospitals. The information was used in Western campaigns for the release of Soviet dissidents. Van Voren has written extensively on Soviet issues and, in particular, issues related to mental health and human rights, and published a dozen books. His most recent ones are On Dissidents and Madness (2009), Cold War in Psychiatry (2010) and Undigested Past – the Holocaust in Lithuania (2011).
Vitaly Nakhmanovich is a historian and ethnopolitologist, and a senior researcher of the Museum of History of Kyiv. He is executive secretary of the Public Committee for the Commemoration of the victims of Babiy Yar.
Nakhmanovich graduated from the history department of Moscow State University. He is author of dozens publications devoted to the history of the Jews, the Holocaust, World War II, Judaism and ethnonational problems in modern Ukraine. He is compiler and editor of several scientific books, member of the editorial board of the scientific journal "Holocaust and Modernity", member of the Scientific Council on Ethnic Relations at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and an expert of the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine.
Semyon Gluzman is a Ukrainian psychiatrist and a human rights activist. He is currently the President of the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association. In 1971 Gluzman wrote a psychiatric report on General Pyotr Grigorenko, in which he open the use of psychiatry for political purposes. In his report, he concluded that Pyotr Grigorenko was mentally sane and had been taken to mental hospitals for political reasons. In May 1972 he was arrested by the KGB for the “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda", and sentenced to seven years in labor camp and three years in Siberian exile. During staying in the camp continued to engage in scholarly and journalistic activities. He is one of the authors of a Manual for Dissenters how to behave during psychiatric examination in order to avoid a diagnosis of mental illness imposed on them.
In 1991 Gluzman organized the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association (UPA) and was its executive secretary for many years. In June 2011 he was elected as President of the UPA. Gluzman is author of many publications on the themes of human rights, ethics and rights in psychiatry, and is considered a moral beacon for Ukrainian society.
Miroslav Marinovich (1947) was born in a religious family, his father having been a priest. After finishing the Lviv Polytechnic Institute he worked as a translator from English in a factory in Ivano-Frankivsk. At that time he came into contact with dissidents from Lviv and Kyiv. He served in the Army in 1973-1974 after which he moved to Kyiv to work as an editor at the publishing house ‘Technics”. In 1976 Marinovich joined the Ukrainian Helsinki Group. He was arrested in April 1977 for anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda and sentenced to seven years’ camp and five years’ exile.
In February 1987 he refused to sign a request for pardon, but was still released during the wave of releases that took place after the death of Moscow dissident Anatoly Marchenko. In March 1987 he returned to Ukraine. He first worked in a factory and in 1990 became a journalist and a lecturer. In 1997 Marinovich became director of the Institute of Religion and Society of the Lviv Academy of the Greek-catholic Church, and in 2000 became vice-rector of this institution, now renamed the Ukrainian Catholic University.
Mridula Ghosh is a development professional and Human Rights expert, columnist and writer, hails from Kolkata India. After graduating in Political Science from Presidency College, she further specialized in International Relations and Foreign Policy in the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University. Her earlier positions include UNDP Program Advisor, Board member, the Renaissance Foundation and Managing Editor, the Eastern Economist. Now she chairs the Board of the East European Development Institute and the Tagore Center in Kyiv.
Dalius Naginevičius is architect from Lithuania who specializes in urbanism, building, architecture and interior design. With experience over 20 years he has worked on designing objects in Lithuania, Georgia and Ukraine. His Master degree project titled “Leisure objects in the city center” combined architectural and psychological solutions in urban setting. Dalius has received several awards for his outstanding performance. Recently he has been putting a lot of attention to the innovation spaces for creative work in educational environment and was main design advisor for the ISM University in Vilnius. His passion is to combine art, innovation technology and architectural solutions.
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